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Meet KJ of Offerings from the Coven

Posted on October 20, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

Gaia: Tell us a bit about yourself. What's your background, your upbringing, interests?

KJ: Growing up an only child, I spent a lot of time creating with my imagination. I always felt a deep connection with art, the earth, rocks, bugs, animals etc.. Seeing something born through my hands, from my heart, has always felt like such a natural representation of myself to the world. I notice that manifest into the way I cook food and present it. Even if it's just a meal alone in my apartment!

Gaia: How do you get into experimenting & making art with epoxy resin?

KJ: I had just recently relocated to Rossland, prior to the pandemic. So with no work commitments yet, and a beloved community going into hibernation mode, I felt it was a great opportunity to immerse myself into a new craft! I’d been admiring the form of epoxy for some time before, and decided to gather materials and see what I could create!  

Gaia: What were some of the first things you made?

KJ: I started out with some very simple silicone moulds of music notes, shapes, and crystal formations. I made some LED string lights, played around with canvas pours, and different colouring mediums. I quickly discovered just how limitless epoxy can be, and started collecting offerings of the earth into my projects. I love using  pressed flowers, ferns, bones, and dead bugs. Quills, rocks, sea shells..the list goes on!

Gaia: What was the inspiration for your coffin boxes? What are the challenges in making them? Can you send us a picture of your favourite that you have made?

KJ: Truth be told, I’m awfully fond of dark and creepy decor in general. I had a request from a witchy friend for one, and they took off from there! One challenge working with them was the poorer quality moulds that I kept running up against. They would stick to the cured box, and cause imperfections. Air bubbles that sneak down in the walls of the box can be easy to miss, and cause spaces on the finished product too. It's certainly a trial and error kind of art form, with each mistake becoming the source of new, refined steps. Here’s a few of my favourites.

       

Gaia: Do you make other kinds of art? If so, what kinds?

KJ: I enjoy felting, crocheting, and painting as well!

Gaia: Are there any new mediums you are exploring now for your art?

KJ: I am! I’m starting into a long admired art form of silversmithing and jewelry making! I took an intro course in the fall, that has certainly sparked the inspiration flame! I’m registered for another class coming up through Selkirk as well! Stay tuned!

Gaia: We also carry your beautiful spell jars. How did you start making those?

KJ: I got inspired by old witch folklore, and the making of protection bottles for dwellings. The building I live in is very old, and has spirits quite present within it. This got me looking for other approaches for maintaining a clear, balanced energy amongst my home. After thoroughly enjoying the process, I decided to market some jars with specific spells and intentions in them, to offer to the public!

Gaia: Are your spell jars connected to any spiritual practice or spiritual faith you have?

KJ: They absolutely make me feel closer to the earth, and the entwined connection we have with it. The medicines and offerings it has for us here are abundant, and dynamic! To feel into those mediums, brings me closer to spirit. I feel connected and tuned in. And of course, witchcraft!

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

KJ: I’ve used oracle cards for many years, and in the last year or so, I’ve started to delve into the classic tarot deck. I’m studying online currently, with a wonderful community where we read together and interpret our spreads! I work with pendulums, meditation, astrology, crystal healing, and the cycles of the moon.

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

KJ: I’ve yet to delve into runes, but I'm very much intrigued by the magic they hold. My partner is currently exploring working with them, so I’m getting insights, and feeling drawn to their teachings even more. In one of our tarot classes, our guide shared a rune she had put together for us to mark on our wrist/arm. I’ve never felt such profound energy while writing on my skin. The feeling of us all doing it at the same time, and the uniqueness of this rune was incredible. Definitely piqued my interest to learn more about them!

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

KJ: I’d say I’ve become more self aware in the past year. Aware of what I can tolerate and hold space for, with more clarity. I’ve learned how to identify draining energy better, and hold more space for others in my life that do the opposite! I have a ‘healer’ type personality that loves to give and lift others, which can take its toll, if I’m not making space to be lifted myself! I’ve also learned to create a life that caters to my own natural rhythms, rather than constantly trying to shift to accommodate the 9-5 societal structure. I’m a nocturnal creature, and in embracing that pattern, I’m a better version of myself.

Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

KJ: I really aspire to deepen my knowledge with herbal medicine. I’m feeling driven to make a better garden in my communal yard, a small greenhouse, and plant it up with medicinal plants. I then want to create tinctures, tea blends, and oils with high vibrancy.

Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality?

KJ: My sun is in Pisces, Moon and Ascendant are both in Leo. I very much resonate with my placements. My empathic, spiritual nature, certainly shines through with my Pisces sun. Having prominent Leo placements, gives me drive to fluff up my mane and get down to business so to speak. It feels like a great balance having that fire energy to motivate me, and give me drive. I couldn’t imagine having all one element in my big 3! Mixed elements ftw!

Gaia: Tell us more about the readings you offer and other products or services you offer?

KJ: I don’t offer readings….yet! With this study group though, I’m gaining more knowledge with tarot and would love to one day be well versed enough to offer readings! I’m very much open to any custom epoxy work folks might desire. I’m starting to experiment with live edge wood projects, but they are limited due to my small studio space. I’d love to do more canvas pours! Below is probably my favourite canvas I’ve done yet. I currently have moulds for picture frame magnets, “self-defense” keychains, ash trays, coffin boxes, pentagram trays and incense holders.

Gaia: Where can we find more information about accessing your products and services?

KJ: Best place to find me is on Instagram. My handle is @ offerings.from.the.coven and if you have any requests or questions, email me at kjinthecoven@gmail.com !

Posted in

Jessica Burris Interview

Posted on August 25, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

 

Meet Jessica Burris:

~ Psychedelic Assisted Therapy ~

~ Death Doula ~

~ Sex and Relationship Coaching ~

~ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy ~

~ Astrology Readings ~

~ Life Reviews ~

Gaia: Can you tell us a bit about yourself. What's your background or some of your interests?

Jessica: My name is Jessica Burris, I was born in a small rural town in Nova Scotia. I was raised predominantly by my grandparents. They owned a small chain of restaurant/doughnut shops. I spent much of my childhood in them socializing with the customers, who were mostly elderly people. Due to the fact that many  of the patrons were elders, I learned about death at quite a young age. My family was really good at helping me navigate and allowing me to choose how much of each death process I wanted to partake in.

Death was always a normalized aspect of life. My grandfather is native and he passed down many of the traditions of how to communicate and interact with nature.  He taught me to survive in the wild, how to fish, and how to forge and grow my own food, mirroring the cycle of life and always giving proper gratitude to its process. Growing up in a small rural town when I got to be a teenager, I had to deal with a lot of  death within my peer group due to the poverty factor. In hindsight all of these things set me up for my path.

When I wasn’t in my grandparents’ shop I was running around the woods, chasing water falls (Nova Scotia has the most per capita in Canada!) or by the ocean often with a book or journal found in my hand. I also often found dead animals in the woods and would make my family partake in “fake funerals” for them. 

Death Doula Experience

Gaia: What prompted you to become a Death Doula? Can you explain what a Death Doula is and what you offer as far as services are concerned?

Jessica: For those who may not know, a death doula or death midwife is someone that helps you plan what you would want your death to look like from the comfort of your own home, like a death planner. All of the little details from scents you’d like present, to music played, who you would like there and everything in between. We help people decide what they would like to have happen with their body and assist with various care giving tasks. Explore potential fears and help to alleviate them usually via some sort of creative legacy project.  Sometimes interwoven with psychedelic assisted therapy depending on where the client is at in the active dying process and their openness/calling to it. Death doulas were largely modeled after birthing doulas. It’s the same thing, just for the end.  

Gaia: What do you find rewarding/challenging about being a Death Doula?

Jessica: I find it extremely rewarding work, my highest calling is to alleviate all unnecessary suffering. The human experience requires suffering but we create a lot that doesn’t need to be there. Of course it can be challenging at times as I have to navigate these same things for myself. I have to maintain energetic boundaries and be very on top of my own self care. I also face my own grief with clients and always give space for it. There seems to be a common misconception that people that do this work don’t “feel” grief. It’s all bout emotional regulation and that means allowing the emotions to move through.

Gaia: You mentioned to me that earlier in your life, offering the services you do now, that you worked as a Nurses Aid & earned a Youth Worker diploma with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. What first prompted you take those paths of work and learning?

Jessica: I began my path of being of service to others at 18 years old. I studied in a small private college in my hometown. At first I thought I wanted to work with youth and focused on getting a youth worker Diploma but the program heavily focused on cognitive behavioural therapy and I was cross-trained to work with all age groups. Upon graduating I started working at an at risk youth shelter. Jobs are a serious scarcity in Nova Scotia and the job I was hired for was a sought after position as it was a government paying job. Many of the other youth workers working at the centre had been doing the work their whole lives and were quite burnt out by the shift work (7am -7pm one week and then switched the next) and of course because of the nature of the job. However, when I was hired a different sect of the government had taken over and decided to try to hire someone with fresh views.

I was technically young enough to be living in the shelter, so the kids didn’t view me as an authoritative figure and I was able to get through to them in ways my older co-workers could not. I had access to the kids records and very quickly saw how this was a continuation of the problems brought on by residential schools. Many of the children’s parents had been in the residential school system and were unable to model the nuclear family dynamic because of the trauma they faced while in this broken system. I quickly burnt myself out and made the tough decision to quit as I was not respected by my coworkers and didn’t want to contribute to the cycle of a broken system.

A prime example of how I was dismissed by my coworkers was an incident in which we had a staff meeting over the rise of teen pregnancy. I offered up a solution to put a bowl of condoms on the office desk mixed in with suckers so we could not tell which the kids were going for to alleviate any possible shame. I struggled to find another job and took on a role initially as a programs director in a retirement home. I was so disappointed that I wouldn’t be working with youth. But my very first shift at the home the redirection clicked in and it all made sense.

I ended up also working as a nurses aid, housekeeping, serving in the dining room and working the reception desk. I lived across the street and for 3 years I spent most of my time there. I loved it, but something still felt like it was missing. I never felt like there was enough staff to give adequate care to the 80 plus residents we housed. I also saw the depths of death denial in our culture even from working with it. The facility labeled itself as “semi-independent” but you can get things like dementia overnight so not all of the staff had proper training for the residents needs. The shifts were also usually 12 hours and I again found myself burnt out. I quit and decided to move across the country. I ended up in Edmonton, Alberta. I needed a break from the work and ended up shifting to working in a punk bar called “Filthy Mcnastys”. Although I loved my time in the bar, I got caught up in the lifestyle and for 3 years drank way too much. At 24 I had a profound psychedelic experience that propelled me back onto my path. I cut out the excessive partying and used my education to start facilitating guided sessions for others. I didn’t set out looking for it, but the people around me saw my shifts and it occurred naturally.

I became involved with the psychedelic Society of Calgary, an underground network where once a month other therapists doing this work would get together and share tools and tips. The founder of MAPS Rick Doblin would sometimes Skype in! It was there I met the first death doula in Canada, Sarah Kerr and the pieces I dropped years prior at the retirement home clicked together. My mission to bring death back into the home and help alleviate unnecessary fear surrounding death started then. I went to do additional studying to get my death doula certificate with a program called INELDA. I also studied at the Willow Farm Contemplative Centre in Hygiene, in Colorado. The woman who runs the centre there; Susan Nemcheck studied directly under Roshi Joan Halifax who has been the lead of the positive death and dying movement since the 60s, she was highly affiliated with Ram Dass. Joan Halifax and her former husband Stanislav Grof also did a lot of the research that highlights the benefits of using psychedelic assisted therapy in order to ease the fear around death

Gaia: You are a goddess with many gifts, as I am quickly learning. From what you have told me you are also an Astrologer, you offer Psychedelic Assisted Therapies, Life Reviews, and sex & relationship coaching. You also explained to me in our chat that there is overlap in offerings like your life reviews, astrology readings & psychedelic assisted therapy when you are in sessions with clients. Do you find it difficult to separate the services you offer in sessions? Is there an intentional blending of your offerings or is a natural occurrence?

Jessica: Indeed my work can often overlap. Healing is not linear. I’m grateful I have a myriad of tools to turn to in my toolbox. I’ve been actively studying astrology since I was a child. It started from a Sailor Moon obsession, an anime in which each of the characters are based off of the signs of the zodiac. Astrology is the language of psychology. It’s been around since Babylonian times and was developed cross culturally.

Whenever clients are willing to give the birth information it’s just one extra tool for me to deeper understand them. The life reviews are an intimate process where over the course of a month I get the person to write out their life story. I meet with them once a week as it brings up a lot of stuff. CBT is all about going back into the story, recognizing that we are co-writing our own individual narratives and taking reigns of the pen. I encourage people to challenge where their stories come from if it is even actually their truth and discern which parts of it are useful or not useful to carry forward. There is a mix of intentional blending and it also occurs naturally in my work.

Gaia: Can you explain what a session of psychedelic assisted therapy with you would look like?

Jessica: A psychedelic assisted therapy session will look a bit different from person to person. They all start with me administering the medicine and getting the person to start the process of relaxation and turning off as much of the “thinking brain” as possible. I set people up in soft lighting in a comfortable room with an eye mask and headphones playing binaural beats which are 2 tone  frequencies  that play between each ear creating a third frequency that will to help ease you into a relaxed meditative state. I encourage people to stick with this for a minimum of one hour but longer if they feel called . In sound healing they say “the healing comes in the silence after the sound” so I get people to sit in silence for as long as they feel comfortable afterward. The medicine does most of the work, I am just there to guide people back to their own inner wisdom if they are having trouble navigating. Some people spend most of the journey inward, some will create art, some need talk therapy; it’s all case by case.  People stay overnight and in the morning when the medicine has worn off I do some integrative talk therapy surrounding the experience. I also offer follow up sessions as things can continue to surface in the weeks following.

Gaia: Out of all of the services you offer, is there one you offer that you prefer more or that brings you more excitement?

Jessica: There is no service that I offer that I favour. I love that I do so many different things, it keeps me learning and helps me balance them all. I feel highly blessed and honoured to be able to do all of them equally. 

Gaia: What do you feel that you offer as a healer? Personally, not services.

Jessica: Personally I feel my greatest offering as a healer does overlap into my services, I’m not sure if there isn’t anything that I carry in that regard just on a personal level. I would think that it’s my attunement to energetic fields and properties. And my ability to be present and hold space, sometimes that’s for myself or loved ones outside of work. 

Gaia: What do you wish for most for your clients when working with them?

Jessica: My highest wish while working with clients is to connect them back to their own inner tools, wisdom and resources and to help ease all unnecessary suffering.

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

Jessica: My personal spiritual practices include a lot of ritual, I journal daily and connect through engaging in creation, I like to make collages. In the morning I try to write as soon as I wake up as that is when the subconscious is most active and the conscious brain hasn’t had enough time to kick in yet. I write my dreams and then try to keep writing as long as I can. If I get stuck I just write “what wants to come out” until something does. I do a lot of my work on myself, I pull tarot cards, look at my charts for my personal transits as well as what’s happening for the collective and how that will affect me. I work with herbs quite regularly. I engage in other ceremonies that are offered in the community by other healers. I also work with mantra a lot. People often forget that mantra means “mind vehicle” I use it to connect me to spirit. Most importantly I also spend a lot of time in nature to connect and communicate with spirit usually alongside my 3 dogs. 

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

Jessica: I try to be constantly open to new philosophies and spiritual practices. I tend to lean more into the Buddhism side of things but am open to all stories. I also gravitate toward Jung a lot. I try to use the phrase “I believe in..” as little as possible because I think it blocks flow from being open to learning new ways. I try to speak from experience and stay open to the mystery.

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

Jessica: I think in the last year my biggest growth has come from the lesson of receiving, a lot of people working to be of service can struggle to take what they give out. I’ve worked very hard with this and have a lot of loving caring supportive people in my life. Learning to let go and surrender are constant teachings that each year I go deeper and deeper into.

Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

Jessica: In 2022 I would like to grow my practices, my business, my ability to surrender (truly a life long process) and as cliché as it sounds, my love for all that is. 

Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality?

Jessica: My sun sign is Taurus (where we create from/represents the relationship with the masculine and is developed during your early formative teenage years) , my rising is Libra (view on the world/where the horizon was at when you were born. Some say it becomes more important than your sun sign as you get older ) and my moon is in Aries. (Personal self / relationship with the feminine). I’m also a Capricorn stellium. I definitely relate to all of my makeup but I always say I’m not a typical Taurus. Taurus is fixed but nearly everything else in my chart is cardinal, it’s also in my 8th house which is ruled by Scorpio. Directly linking me to working with sex, death and the taboo.

Gaia: Tell us about more about the readings you offer and other products or services you offer?

Jessica: I like my readings to dive deep (sun in the 8th house showing up again) I like it to be a conversational back and forth with the person I’m reading for. It is a very intimate experience where I can uncover a lot of personality traits and see exactly what is happening in your life at that moment by looking at your daily transits. 

Gaia: Where can we find more information about accessing your products and services?

Jessica: You can find more about my services at https://lilieslocustsandlavender.com or contact me directly at jessica.burris@live.ca.

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Jessica: My shopping bag at Gaia always contains incense, sometimes jewelry, a book or tarot related things and sometimes musical instruments (: 

Posted in

Interview with Dawn of Ravenwind Illustration

Posted on August 09, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

                                     Dawn Ravenwind

"Dawn Ravenwind is a fantasy artist, author, and mother of one, aka. “Mother of Dragons.” She is a Metis artist born in Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada. Dawn grew up off-grid without electricity or hot water and is very connected to nature. After graduating with Honour’s and distinction with a BSc from the University of Victoria she wrote her master thesis on climate change.

Dawn has studied the Elder Futhark runes for over 10 years, and uses them regularly as part of her daily practice. She is excited to be contributing to the field through a unique illustrated art book that she hopes will inspire a new generation of runesters.

Dawn also designs intricate fantasy scale mail apparel which is available through www.dragonheartart.com her pieces have been used in film, circus, burlesque, theatre, and of course many festivals and flow jams.

When she is not toiling away in her workshop focused on creative endeavours, Dawn enjoys the outdoor life in the Kootenay area of BC with her son, little Ragnar (who also loves dragons and swordplay)."

We are so excited to be carrying Dawn's book 'The Illustrated Book of Runes'.

Gaia: Hi Dawn! Can you tell us a bit about yourself. What's your background like and what are some interests of yours?

Dawn: One thing I found really interesting out of this book writing experience is that the most common thing people comment on who have read it is my bio and that I’ve had an interesting life. I could maybe make a whole book on that one day, but the short of it is that I was raised in northern BC 45 km down a logging road without power on a small homestead. I did regular public school as we had a bus that took us to town, and ended up going to university and getting my Bachelor of Science with Honour’s in Biology at UVic. Life (some maybe call it fate) took me in a different direction when I had my son, Ragnar, while finishing up my Master’s and I moved to the Kootenays and started working on DragonheART, my art and costume business.

My interests include a lot of ecological outdoor things like hiking, bird watching, animal rescue, plant foraging and gardening. But I also have a very artsy set of interests like music festivals, painting, mythology, fantasy novels, board games, and other nerdy things. I think it’s a pretty balanced way of being.

Gaia: Your “Illustrated Runes” book is very interesting because it is a combination of valuable information & beautiful artwork. What inspired you to create a book that features both of these components?

Dawn: Thanks for that feedback! Honestly, it just started with the art. I had the idea to paint the runes with their symbology for quite a long time, as I hadn’t really seen anyone make really detailed images with how the shape of each rune related to a physical image (for example, the shape of Wunjo is said to be a flag so I wanted to show how that looks like a flag). In 2020 when everyone was cooped up there were a lot of art challenges going around and one was a rune contest by a tattoo artist that said to create a rune art image in your style.

So I did, and that was Fehu, and when I saw it I thought maybe it would be cool to make a book out of these, as I’d been thinking my watercolor style would make great illustrations for some time. I posted it on the Asatru Community page (Asatru being the name for the modern following of Nordic faith) and asked if people would support making a book with this art. It received a lot of attention and I thought well I better make this then.

The Illustrated Book of Runes

 
Fortunately (or unfortunately) all my regular events were cancelled and so I turned my focus onto the art for the book. And each time I did a painting I would just sit for an hour and channel whatever thoughts I’d had for that week into written form and it would just sort of flow. It turned out I had a lot to say about all of them, the book ended up about twice as big as I originally anticipated!

The intro and everything else I used my research skills for and sourced a lot of outside information. But all the writing about each rune is just a channel of my thoughts about them, after having read some books a while ago and worked with them daily for several years.   

Thankfully, due to raising around $12,000 on Kickstarter I was able to fund all of the art and words into the result that you have in stores now. A big shout out goes to my editor and publishing helper Stephen Aetherphoxx of Thoughtweft Publishing for helping me bring it together in such a meaningful and impactful way.

Gaia: How did you get into studying Runes?

Dawn: That’s a good question I don’t have a straightforward answer to. There’s an aspect where it just seemed to resonate with me, I studied German in high school and university and that part of the world has just always called to me in some way. I received my first set of runes as a teenager from a friend and dabbled then but never really ‘got into them’ until after Ragnar was born. I made myself a goal to do a daily rune pull and through that was able to really learn them; it’s a bit like learning a language where you have to work with them regularly to become fluent in them. Maybe I made that goal as something to keep my brain busy and learning in that dip after university, but I felt like once I really started to learn about the philosophical aspect of each rune it became less of an intellectual pursuit and more of a personal development one.

Gaia: In your bio on your website you mention that you have been studying the ‘Elder Futhark Runes’ for over 10 years. How do the Elder Futhark Runes differ from what we commonly know as simply ‘Runes’?

Dawn: The Elder Futhark are what most people first think of when they think of runes. They’re an old Germanic alphabet we know from the 1st and 2nd centuries that was revived in the past couple of centuries and has been used for divination since then, but they’re only one of the alphabets we call runes. The Elder Futhark are known as the Viking runes but they predate the Icelandic runes, Younger Futhark (Scandinavian) runes, Anglo-Saxon runes and many other that came after. The newer branches are each their own alphabet which evolved from the Elder Futhark (which we think may have developed from Roman origins). The word ‘rune’ in general covers an even much broader category that can include things like the Ogham used by the old Celtic peoples or Glagolitic script of Slavic origins, neither of which came from the Elder Futhark.

Gaia: As far as the art component in your book goes, do you take inspiration from traditional sources of imagery to guide your art, or is it totally personal interpretation of the runes?

Dawn: I went with imagery based on what we believe historically the representation was (eg. Fehu looks like a cow with its two horns). I’d use that for the starting place and focus, as the main purpose was to show this historical image in a modern and detailed way. Then from there I would also include some of my own interpretation images, like with Laguz. Laguz translates to lake, but the shape of the rune is said to be that of a leek. So leeks appear in my imagery, as well as a lake, but I also included ducks as was more of an intuitive thing which brought the image together as more of a whole.

Gaia: For people that are just starting out, besides your book, what other books or resources would you recommend?

Dawn: For runes, I’d say it’s important to read the classics. Freya Aswynn’s ‘Northern Mysteries and Magick’ is a good intuitive book and Edred Thorsson’s ‘Handbook of Rune Magic’ is a good scholarly source with lots of details like body positions and galdr (shamanic rune chants).  Some of the more easily readable books have come out more recently though, so if you want a book that is more approachable for light learning I’d go with Paul Rhys Mountfort ‘Nordic Runes.’

There are some great online resources as well, The Rune Site (
http://www.therunesite.com) and Rune Secrets (https://runesecrets.com/) are both worth checking out. I’ve heard there are good apps out there for learning, but I don’t like to use them as I don’t really think electronic algorithms are the best way to generate randomness.

You should also definitely do some reading on Norse mythology to get the full picture. Some great resources on this that I enjoy are the site Norse Mythology for Smart People (
https://norse-mythology.org/) and Daniel McCoy’s associated book ‘The Viking Spirit’, any of the translations of the Poetic and Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson and ‘D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths.’

Gaia: In your opinion what is the best material for runes to be made out of?

Dawn: I tend to stay away from saying there is a best anything, especially for something as personal as runes. There might be a best for someone that is not best for another person. For example, bone is the most historically correct substance and it comes imbibed with some energy of the animal it came from. But for a vegan, a carved crystal set on quartz would be a better match. The only thing I will say that is the best is if it has the best intention that goes along with it. If someone is purchasing a set of runes for someone else, it comes with intention as part of the gift but you should keep in mind trying to source and support a small business person and not a large manufacturing company. If you’re crafting a set for yourself, really taking time to find a material that feels special to you is the best.

Gaia: People who first get into tarot are often told ‘You have to be given your first deck or it’s bad luck’. Many tarot readers and enthusiasts I have spoken to would disagree with this. Are there any myths about people beginning with runes that have been circulated?

Dawn: Not so much, though I’ve definitely heard it said. I’ve also heard people claim a set of runes can only be used a single time and then cast away, though there is no historical record of that. People get all kinds of ideas about what is ‘the way’. The most particular people will say you should craft them yourself, but I think a gift is a great way to get someone started on learning them.

Gaia: Which rune resonates with you the most?

Dawn: Well that’s a bit of a tough question, there’s runes that make me happiest, runes that come with the most intense feeling, runes that just show up for me all the time. As they’re all fairly well integrated parts of my psyche it’s almost like asking if I resonate more with my feet or my hands, or if thinking or feeling is better. Having to pick one is really hard so maybe I’ll just go with a few.

For positive things I want to manifest and get excited when they show up we have Fehu (wealth) and Ehwaz (partnership). For one I use a lot I would pick Kenaz (creativity). For personal growth and development I would pick Dagaz (dusk/dawn, for riding out bad times and remembering all is temporary) and Hagalaz (chaos).

Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality? If you aren’t into Western astrology, are there other systems you follow, maybe through runes, to learn about yourself?

Dawn: My sun sign is a Pisces. I do relate to it in the emotional and creative sense for sure. My moon is a Taurus and my ascendant is cusp Capricorn/Sagittarius. I think overall I feel a lot more of those earth signs (most of my other planets are Capricorn) where I like practical things, physical comforts and structure.

There’s also a calendar Freya Aswynn designed, as the runes make a cycle like the months do. You can find it in her book or in my tables starting page 137. This gives you a birth rune, said to relate to your destiny. My birthday falls under the rune of Tiwaz, meaning my destiny is related to that of a warrior. You can use your name for personality traits too, D (Dawn) is Dagaz, meaning I have a lot of intense mood shifts and I tend to see the world as more black and white.

Gaia: Can you tell us about more about the readings you offer and other products or services you offer?

Dawn: I don’t actually really offer readings except to people close to me. I feel like runes are more of a self development journey, and I’m not always keen to pry into other people’s states of being. Sometimes you also find things you or them aren’t ready for and it’s not a comfortable service, the runes are really blatant sometimes and that lack of sugar coating can outline a harsh reality. The one thing I will offer is a single rune pull when I’m running my booth, it’s more like a message for the day and something to reflect on than really getting deep into an issue.


I do have my DragonheART business as my regular service offering. I run an Etsy store and take my art to events like music festivals and comic expos. I’m known for and specialize in scalemail, a form of chainmaille that uses rings and scales to make costume pieces and accessories. I also do leatherwork and can make custom just about anything.

Gaia: Where we can find more information about accessing your products and services?

Dawn: My Ravenwind Illustration website is set up for my artwork but also has a page where you can read my write ups on each of the runes.
www.ravenwindillustration.com
Social Media is:
FB:
www.facebook.com/ravenwindillustration
IG: @ravenwindillustration

And if you want to check out my DragonheART (the shop where you can buy my book and all my other art)

www.dragonheartart.com

www.etsy.com/ca/shop/dragonheartspace

FB: www.facebook.com/dragonheartart
IG: @dragonheartart
Tiktok: @dragonheartspace

 

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

Dawn: In university I spent a lot of time doing Zen Buddhism and I still do meditations that way. As a Metis person, I also have some Native American practices like thanking plants before I harvest them. I’ve also studied tarot, astrology and Kabbalah. So I have a sort of mesh of different beliefs from a number of places. I also like learning the psychology/science behind myths so there is a practical side to that spirituality too.

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

Dawn: Slavic mythos seems really rich and unsurfaced, I definitely want to dig more into that. There are a lot of Celtic ideologies that interest me also that I feel I want to spend some time learning about. And, as there is always learning to do and more to know, there is still a lot of Asatru/Nordic path stuff I want to keep learning.

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

Dawn: I’ve gotten more confidence in my crafts and myself over the last year. I was about to give it mostly all up for a Shopify tech support job that was offered to me (they even sent me a computer!) but the BC government funded me with a COVID recovery grant last year. It’s helped me get to a point where my store is so busy I hardly have time to restock for summer events. So I think I made the right choice there!

 Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

Dawn: I’d like to keep focusing on my art and business development. I have plans to get more printed merchandise happening, like a calendar with my artwork and maybe mugs and water bottles. I’m posing around some ideas for illustrated kids books with Norse myths but I can’t make any promises I’ll get to that! I have a lot of leather and a new sewing machine from the grant I’d like to do more neat things with too.

I guess that’s all more tangible things to do rather than about myself in particular. I’d say it all relates to building up more confidence and continuing to put myself out there, coming up with new ideas, focusing on creativity and continuing to learn new things as I go. I’ll throw in a goal for some travelling too, as getting out of your comfort zone is always a good place to keep growing in new ways.

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Dawn: All the crystals! A whole dragon horde worth! Also some cool statues, pleasant smelly things like essential oils and incense, interesting books, pretty oracle cards and maybe a little instrument like a chime or two.

Posted in

Interview with Terry Sidhu, local Meditation Coach & Tarot Reader.

Posted on August 04, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

                                

                           Terry Tarot

Terry is a local Meditation Coach & founder of Moon Meditation. He is also a fabulous Tarot reader and will be offering Tarot readings in front of Gaia Rising on Saturday, August 6th from 1pm-4pm! Suggested donation of $20-$30. Please enjoy our interview with the thoughtful Terry :)

Gaia: Hi Terry! Such a pleasure to be interviewing you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Terry: I’m originally from England and ethnically my background is Indian. I was raised in a Sikh household where seeking Truth, equality between all people, and serving your community was the way of life. I’m self-expressive by nature and growing up I found myself finding sanctuary in meditation as the world around me seemed too restrictive. For me it was either conform or retreat, I chose to retreat in meditation. I was introduced to meditation around 9 years old, also something I learned through my Sikh upbringing, and through meditation I discovered my love for dance, life, philosophy and curiosity for human behavior. I went on to study psychology, however after two years of study and no mention of meditation, I switched my focus to Marketing which to me seemed like a better study of human behavior, or as I understood it, ‘psychology in action’. After university I moved to Canada, started my own life coaching practice by turning marketing & management tools into personal development ones, and through coaching is how I started teaching meditation.

Gaia: In your own words, can you describe what the practice of meditation is to you?

Terry: The practice of meditation to me is to seek truth. I learned that everything we experience in mind, body and beyond is a mere creation, and the role of meditation is to enable you to observe creation and study it to seek its creator; the truth of the matter. For example, consider a problem in your life as a creation, in meditation you study it to seek the creator of it, which then enables you to understand it and create a solution.

Gaia: How did you learn about meditation? Who did you learn about meditation from?

Terry: Meditation was normal growing up, it was depicted in the artwork on the walls at home and in the temple, and I had access to the resources I needed to learn. Not everyone in my generation was into it, mostly because of the religious association to the practice, but I found a freedom in meditation like no other. My mother, who introduced me to the fundamentals of the practice, encouraged me to read and learn from all faiths and ways of life. I was taught to seek truth, to feel and experience it for myself, instead of blindly accepting what I was taught and told in the material experience of the world.

Gaia: Why do you see meditation as an essential skill to have for managing stress, anxiety and supporting us through mental health issues?

Terry: We sleep to recover from the limitations of the mind and body, we meditate to overcome the limitations of the mind and body. Meditation enables you to separate yourself from whatever experience you’re having, and creates a moment for you to change your perspective; to raise awareness. You start by conditioning the mind to not react to any state of mind, and I think these beginning practices alone can transform a person's experience of life and being. Ultimately, meditation is safer than any other mental health practice out there.

Gaia: Besides supporting us in managing our mental health, what other benefits are there in practicing meditation?

Terry: Mental health is just the beginning, meditation will help you improve focus and concentration, boost productivity, ignite creativity and will give you the confidence to live true to who you are. Beyond the benefits for life, meditation will awaken your inner-spirituality as you create room in your mind to feel and connect with the intelligence that is you and that surrounds you. Meditation can help you physically too! It teaches you to listen to your body and as you do, you will identify the changes you need to make to live healthy.

                             Terry

Gaia: In your book ‘Meditate-Breathe into meditation and awaken your potential’ you have a 5 step process that you recommend for beginning meditation. Without spoiling all 5, can you give us a synopsis about one of your steps you talk about in the book?

Terry: Sure, Step 3. Locking. One of the fundamental steps in Meditate is activating your meditative state, which I call locking or locking into your meditation. Locking is a subtle and gentle movement, you roll your eyes up toward the center of your mind as if to shift awareness away from life and into mind. It’s ritualistic at the beginning stages but as you develop your practice you will start to notice a shift in being, it’s quite remarkable!

Gaia: What made you decide to write a book? Why did you feel that it was important to you on your path in life?

Terry: I moved to Nelson to teach meditation full time, I had a studio in town and all was going great until COVID. When the studio closed I decided to take the time to write, I figured I came here to teach so teach I shall. I also feel it's important to immortalize this knowledge too, to leave a clue for future generations to find whenever they start seeking as it has helped me so much in my life.

Gaia: From what I understand you are also a tarot card reader. How would you say tarot and meditation compliment each other in spiritual practice?

Terry: I think tarot is a great way to express the truths felt within. Sometimes I have experiences in mind that I have no context for in life, so I reach for my tarot deck to help me form context, a narrative of sorts, to help express the experiences within. I also use Tarot with my students to help them stimulate creativity and brain activity before heading into meditation.

Gaia: What is your favourite tarot deck to work with & why?

Terry: I don’t think I ever thought about a favorite, I tend to switch up my deck every few months to challenge my mind and keep my reading skills fresh. Right now I’m using a samurai deck, the imagery is really cool and I’m watching a lot of Anime right now so they’re enjoyable to read. In the past I have found a lot of value in Celtic decks as I found them to contain a lot of hidden details that encourage you to look a little closer.

Gaia: Are there any tarot decks that you are interested in working with that you haven’t yet?

Terry: I’m hoping to explore oracle cards soon, though with Tarot I feel I just work with whatever falls in my lap. I’ve also read tarot with a regular set of playing cards too! Though I’m keeping a keen eye on a Vedic-scripture inspired deck, I think I’d do quite well with them.

Gaia: Which card in the major arcana do you find you relate to these days when you look at the big picture of your life?

Terry: The Moon. I feel like I’m experiencing some growing pains as I’m learning to integrate some internal shifts that have caused me to see life renewed.

Gaia: If you know, what are your sun, moon & ascendant zodiac signs in Western astrology and do you find that they resonate with who you are? Do you work with or believe in Vedic astrology? Same question as above regarding Vedic astrology (if applies).

Terry: Astrology is something I try not to dive into, I grew up having my palm, my forehead and my charts read by so many people that I ultimately don’t want to know any more. I am aware of my dharmic duty, and each reading I get aligns quite accurately with it. However, outside of my dharma, I want life to surprise me. I find more pleasure in being than in knowing these days, and as lovely as it is to learn of nature and my nature, I’ve consciously decided to just embrace my truth instead of trying to fulfill it.

Gaia: What other spiritual practices do you have in your life and are you open to sharing a bit about them? 

Terry: A couple I am happy to share, first is Tantra. Tantra, in summary, is the fullest expression of truth. It’s often associated with sacred sexuality but that’s just one branch off of the Tantric tree. To stand up on one's tantric expression is to exist as the truest form of self unapologetically, and by doing so you enlighten every aspect of your life, everything from what you eat to who you communicate with! You’ll often see me in a Tantric expression when I dance, it’s most evident there. The second is an Islamic state of prayer called, Istikhara, you simplye pray life and learn from or seek guidance and knowledge from the thoughts, ideas and visions that conjure up. It’s a beautiful meditation. 

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies or practices that you are interested in learning more about?

Terry: I’m eager to learn more about Taoism, I think there’s a simplicity to that way of life that makes life a purer and much less complex experience.

Gaia: How would you say that you have changed over the last year?

Terry: I would say I have developed a new found confidence in myself as a teacher of meditation. Recently, I’ve had to manage a lot of new responsibilities in my life and was met with many new challenges, and delving into my meditation practice to manage it all was the thing that made me realize how developed my practice really is. It was like putting my practice to test and it made me realize even more how crucial it is to get this knowledge out there.

Gaia: Where can we find information about where to access your products & services?

Terry: Head on over to moonmeditation.io, it will connect you to all my services and resources.

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Terry: Incense, a pooja bell, a deck of tarot cards and a good thought provoking book!

Posted in

Interview with Shannon Silvermoon, local artist, Spiritual coach and healer

Posted on July 28, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

We at Gaia rising are so pleased to have had the opportunity to interview  Shannon Silvermoon! Shannon practices as a spiritual healer and personal growth guide here in the Kootenays, working with inner child and identity development techniques to heal the psyche and mend ancestral wounds. Alongside her many healing services, Shannon is also a visual artist! She focuses her talent into paintings featuring the moon, Goddesses and the spirit of nature and animals.
Gaia: Hi Shannon, we are so happy to be chatting with you. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Shannon: Growing up I moved a lot as a child and attended 13 different schools in 12 years. I felt very isolated and alone and took some comfort in drawing and just being with myself feeling my feelings. I never really felt like I had a place that felt like home until I moved to Nelson other than my family homestead in Ontario and Ireland where my ancestors originated from. I love to travel and have been to many countries including Israel, Jordan, Thailand, Cambodia, Ireland, Scotland and every country in Central America.  

Gaia: How did you get started on your healing journey? What prompted you to go inwards and ‘do the work’?

Shannon: Growing up in a difficult family dynamic & atmosphere, I acted out a lot as a child and young adult. I became a teenage single mom and had to do everything on my own. When my son grew up he began to act out as well and had done something that was heartbreaking and tore the family apart. We were both alienated from the family and the pain was so devastating. Along with my father's death shortly afterwards, I knew I needed help desperately during my breakdown. I started with regular counseling and continued to investigate every healing modality possible. If there is a healing modality out there I have likely done it. 

Gaia: Why did you decide to offer healing service to others? Where did the inspiration come from to assist others in their healing journey?

Shannon: After over 12 years of doing my own healing path I slowly began digging myself out of depression and the victim mentality I clung to growing up. I realized that I was entirely responsible for my own thoughts and beliefs. After healing and learning from my mentors and counselors, I began learning how to heal myself. I wanted to give that gift to others so they could feel as free as I had felt by owning my own S*%t and doing the steps. I learned a lot of tricks and tips along the way, and I love seeing others connect to love and joy that returns to true selves.

Gaia: Besides your literal offerings… what do you feel you offer as a healer to other people? (From a personal standpoint).

Shannon: One of the most powerful modalities that worked for me was inner child and parts work. I learned to connect with the lost, lonely and abandoned parts of myself. Rather than looking to all of the external things that are empty and do not fill our needs like booze, drugs, work, relationships, shopping I realized that I had to be the parent that I never had. Once I embodied that role I felt more fulfilled. I have learned to facilitate healing offerings of this kind of approach to others in a safe, non-judgemental, loving and nurturing space. Whether that is in person or on line it is very effective as I guide my clients into meditation and hypnosis in the comfort of my space or their own. 

Gaia: Tell us more about your healing work. How you got started, the traditions you studied from or education you pursued. 

Shannon: Learning from my inner child work mentor, I found many tips and tricks. Afterwards I trained in NLP (Neurolinguistic Programing) hypnosis training, Spiritual coaching courses and I am currently training in a new method called Iopt that is a form of resonating with your parts similar to Family Constellation work but with your own psyche and intentions. 

Gaia: You offer what you call ‘Empowerment Sessions’ what do these sessions look like?

Shannon: Every session is different and with a free consultation we discuss what the client wants and needs and what would be the most effective modality for that individual. Most sessions do involve meditation or some form of an inner connection. Some clients may not feel comfortable with a hypnosis session which would connect them deeply with their inner child. Some may want a more interactive hands on approach which I may suggest using a method called automatic writing or painting. Another modality can be with Parts Work. By setting an intention and having myself or objects resonate with their intention. If the client is not yet ready to dive deep into their psyche we can start by setting  goals, dreams, and raising vibrational frequencies through discussing how they would like to grow in their life and ways that I can support, nurture and hold them accountable with thought provoking homework to complete. 

Gaia: What have you learned from working with others on their healing journey?

Shannon: I have learned that everyone is perfect where they are at now and are ready for whatever they are ready for to heal in their own time. So often we have that friend or family member that we see and think “Gawd if only they could see what they are doing with their life! If only they would stop doing X or Y they would be happy” But we have all been that person as well and one day the light bulb turns on and we just GET IT. But no amount of nagging from your best friend or your mother would have done it, in fact it may have annoyed you until something happens or you are ready for that new thing that makes it click. I may see the deeper wounds or what they may need to do to change but it is ultimately up to the individual and how much investment, courage and curiosity they have in themselves to do the work will it eventually click. There are also many layers to what we can see as well and if they can at least see the first layer that is a blessed start. 

Gaia: What do you believe your mission is on the Earth?

Shannon: I believe that my mission is to help others heal from their pain, traumas from our own past and intergenerational trauma and to believe in themselves. We are powerful beings capable of anything. Its our beliefs that hold us back to being the greatness that we are. I want to untangle the thoughts that we are not enough, or are too much so that we can express our gifts in this world. Then we can have a world that works for everyone, with enough room for everyone, so that we can love each other without greed, jealousy, fear or lack. 

Gaia: We have recently started carrying your beautiful cards. My personal favourites are ‘Jabowalkie’ & ‘Foxy Moon’. Where does the inspiration come from for your art? What kinds of mediums do you use to create your paintings?  

Shannon: I like to play and experiment with different mediums but mostly I work with Acrylic or water color. My inspiration comes from my own spiritual experiences through my healing journey experiences. Also I have been fascinated by the moon since I was a toddler and am an avid follower of the cycle, I find it to be influential in my moods. I also love wild animals and their spiritual medicine meaning to their personalities

Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality?

Shannon: I laugh inside when people ask this as I can just hear some people go ohhhh…. when I tell them my signs. I am a Taurus Sun sign and a Taurus Moon sign with a Leo ascendant so even though I can appear to be out in the spotlight and social it can take a toll on me as my Taurus energy is strong. I am very grounded which I believe really helps me in my guided healing practice with my clients and I am told that I have a very earthy motherly energy in sessions.  I do have to work on my stubborn side but when I have made up my mind I am firm and stand by my word. I also love comfort and do most of my computer work at home in my very warm and cozy bed with a warm cup of coffee or tea.

 

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

Shannon: I love to meditate and journal. I try to meditate every day even if its only for 5-10 mins but I strive for at least a half an hour. There is no one way that I do it, sometimes its breathing in the car to calm my anxiety for a few mins, other times its putting on my headphones and listening to a guided meditation and other times if I can’t sleep or need clarity I will listen to some bilateral beats. Journaling is something I have done since I was 13 as recommended by a family counselor. At the time it was to write out my aggression and frustrations, it continued that way for most of my life but now I use if to record my dreams- I love dream interpretation, and for my gratitude and affirmations. Journaling  also helps to work out problems in my current situation before I confront others in an overly emotional way, this helps me defuse it. 

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

Shannon: I love learning about different philosophies beliefs and religions, I take what resonates with me and leave the rest. I really gravitated to the Centre for Spiritual living when I was living in Kelowna and when I took their classes and workshops outside of their regular Sunday service I really learned a lot and grew immensely. They follow the teachings of Ernest Holmes who wrote the Science of Mind in the 1920’s. Ernest incorporated many of the basic principles of the Bible, the Quaran, teachings of the Buddha, Krishna and Muhammad and extracted the messages of love, unity and all is One in, through and as God. Then he took the law of physics and the power of the mind showing the science of how our thoughts affect our mind, body and spirit decades before it was acceptable to believe this. Lastly he incorporated philosophers like Emerson and Thurow who like him wrote about the power of our mind and God. This changed my life. 

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

Shannon: Wow, this is a big question. I have grown in so many ways personally. I have learned to become more confident in myself, to feel into my body and know what it wants and needs - even though I don’t always listen. I have learned to speak up for myself more and stand up for what I believe in even if it means loosing people or even jobs. I am listening to my intuition more knowing that a gut feeling can lead you to great opportunities or risk loosing things because it does not serve me anymore. Once I let go the Universe/God/Source will fill it with something greater once the slate is clean.

Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

Shannon: I see myself growing into a bigger more badass version of myself. Trusting myself and others more, believing that I am supported by my friends, community and the Universe. I see myself growing my businesses with clients and many sales exponentially everyday. More confidence and relaxing into being “seen” and working smarter, not harder. 

Gaia: Tell us about more about the readings you offer and other products or services you offer?

Shannon: I’ve talked a lot about my coaching and guided healing services so I will expand on my art. I love to create and grow as an artist. I offer original art, prints, cards and even love to create costumes. I use recycled and upcycled materials to make festival belts with skirts and purses as well as fancy crowns, antler headpieces and fairy ears and wands. 

Gaia: Where can we find more information about accessing your products and services?

Shannon: Anyone can reach me on Facebook or Instagram under Shannon Silvermoon. I can also be contacted through email at ShannonSilvermoon@gmail.com. If you would like to learn more about my Spiritual Coaching, Inner Child or Parts work please check out my website at www.Silvermoon-Coaching.com 

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising? 

Shannon: Ohhhh almost everything… but if I had to choose the three things I would for sure have is a new deck of oracle cards, a fancy journal, and a Goddess statue! 

Posted in empath, freedom, growth, healing, innerchild, spiritual

Interview with Cosmic Cardinal, AKA Dayna Larson.

Posted on July 14, 2022 by laureen barker

 

 

Gaia: Hi Dayna, such a pleasure to be interviewing you. We love your astrological mountain stickers and seeing all of your art on Instagram. Can you tell us about yourself?

Cosmic Cardinal: My name is Dayna Larson, and I was born and raised in Kelowna BC. As soon as I moved to the Kootenays (around 5 years ago) I instantly fell in love with the mountain town culture and lifestyle. Being outdoors with nature, whether that be hiking, snowboarding, or backpacking, brings me back to center. Surrounding myself with mountains, streams and forests helps to keep me grounded, as well as in a constant state of inspiration.

I’ve always been extremely passionate about the environment, which is the backbone for all the work I produce. I consider myself a sustainable artist, incorporating eco-friendly practices and sustainable supplies in my studio. I enjoy repurposing materials to make art, such as painting on things such as : snowboards, skate decks, rocks, driftwood, you name it.

I have spent the majority of my working career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist, working in hospitals all throughout the Kootenays. I have taken some much needed time away from Western medicine to focus on natural healings. I now work with clients as an Intuitive Energy healer, working with crystals and healing frequencies.

Gaia: How did you first get into creating art?

Cosmic Cardinal: As a young girl I always loved drawing, plain and simple. I would draw animals, trees, flowers… anything nature related really. I admit, I was definitely one of those crazy horse girls that drew them any chance I could. I always loved creating what was in front of me, adding personal dimension.

I took some time away from the sketches, and went off to post secondary school. When I first moved to Nelson I started picking up analogue cameras. I started using my film camera every chance I could, experimenting with different developing methods, chemicals and expired film. Capturing those first film photos is what really sparked my interest back into the wonderful world of Art. I then picked up some paintbrushes and started creating my own unique style. I would spend hours painting on days off, or after a shift at the hospital. It became apparent that I didn’t just love painting, I needed it.

Gaia: What were some of the first mediums you worked with?

Cosmic Cardinal: Growing up, good ol’ graphite pencil was where it all started. Starting with the basics of shading with pencil made the transition into other mediums so much easier. From then on I grew to love color, adding pencil crayon tones to my drawings. Color added more depth, which meant new mediums to try : pastels, watercolor, and acrylic paint. I stopped creating for some time during my adolescent years, and left many mediums behind.

Gaia: What are your favourite mediums to work with now?

Cosmic Cardinal: As an adult, about 4 years ago, I rekindled my love for art with traditional oil paint. The paint's rich color, and buttery texture has me reaching for it with every painting.  I have been absolutely hooked ever since. I am even able to make the paint sustainably with just pigment and walnut oil, while using a soy based solvent. I also love a good wood canvas

Since purchasing my first iPad a few years back, I have also sparked a love for digital art. This is a form that I have grown to love. I will be one to say there’s nothing quite like the classic pencil to paper feel… but you have to admit creating an initial sketch or idea on a piece of paper, and then being able to put it on a screen and make as many changes on the fly with the swipe of a pen, is pretty amazing.

Gaia: What inspires your art?

Cosmic Cardinal: Art was always a way for me to express myself. It first started making an appearance in my adult life when I moved to Nelson and started my first permanent job at KLH. Sometimes I just needed an outlet to express my emotions after a shift working in healthcare, just like with any job there’s good days and bad. Art has always been there for me like a journal to the writer, the cinnamon bun to the baker… and so forth.

Nature of course, has a very special place in my Art. The unknown answers to our humanly questions, the infinite possibilities the cosmos holds, and art through healing are my main focuses when it comes to my “Why”.

Gaia: We have your beautiful Astrological Sacred mountain stickers here at Gaia. What inspired you to select a sacred mountain for each zodiac sign?

Cosmic Cardinal: Mountains are some of the most sacred places here on Earth, in my opinion. Having a connection with the Earth around us is so important. Experiencing certain parts of life with universal understanding makes me feel closer to the world around me. When I go for a hike, it's so rewarding to stand on top of a giant mountain, feeling its energy beneath my feet. Sacred mountains are ancient, and that alone is to be respected. Mountains are the closest we can get to the heavens, so for me, it's a spiritual experience all together.

Each design was inspired by the heavens and earth, our Lunar Moon meeting a mountain horizon. We are all made of a unique combination of the twelve zodiacs, just like certain mountains are made up of a combination of different minerals. Energy exists within all matter, and I wanted to bring the saying “As above, so Below” into a meaningful form of art.

Gaia: You mentioned you were a cancer. What does the sacred mountain you chose for Cancer mean to you? 

Cosmic Cardinal: Machu Picchu is the sacred mountain I chose for the Cancer zodiac, for a few interconnected reasons. Located in the Andes of Peru, this sacred mountain and the surrounding environment was considered “Pachamama” - meaning Mother Earth. As a Cancer, we feel things immensely, and show our love to those we care for by doing motherly things. We all know that Cancer knows exactly when a hug is needed. We are able to literally “feel you out” in a millisecond and be there when you need us. With Machu Picchu being almost completely surrounded by the Urubamba River, this alone symbolizes how much we Cancer signs ebb and flow with the currents of Life. I can’t think of a better symbolic mountain to represent me and my fellow moody crustaceans. We swim in the watery realms, and absorb intuitive insights to nurture those around us. 

Gaia: What other projects are you working on right now?

Cosmic Cardinal: Currently I am working on some custom paintings, and getting busy with digital art designs.

I am very passionate about our environment and protecting the wild things in our backcountry. I have created a large statement painting a little over a year ago, representing Piq kiʔláwnaʔ (New Denver - Kaslo), an area that is currently under threat from corporate development. I will be looking to host an event to raise awareness about the misconceptions behind Zincton Mountain Resort. I have been working with the Autonomous Sinixt regarding this event, and we believe it is a positive step forward towards a consolidated future. This project aims to bring our community together by protecting our biodiversity within the New Denver - Kaslo Corridor.

Gaia: What is the most challenging thing about being an artist? What is the most rewarding, fun or exciting thing?

Cosmic Cardinal: I will keep this topic light, as this topic can be picked apart just like any profession. I do believe though, that it is healthy to talk about the struggles artists go through. Everyone goes through hard times, yet some artists use this pain as fuel to their craft. The challenges that I see around this lifestyle, or passion… is getting past the initial hardships. Getting over imposter syndrome, feeling as if you have no artistic freedom because you are worried your next design won’t be as accepted as the one before… or feeling the need to tailor your work to the masses' idea of what “art” is. Getting past these feelings of self-doubt is where the journey begins. Making your art, being proud of it and confident that it came from your he-art-space is something special.

The most rewarding part of being an artist is being truly authentic in the work you produce. Terming your creations as ‘work’ is actually where it all goes wrong. Make the definite line between work, and play. We make art because we need that expressive outlet, but also as a safe place to create with no boundaries. The emotions we pour into our art is an extension of ourselves, and in that way we can heal so deeply, and with such compassion.

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

Cosmic Cardinal: I try to spend a large chunk of time away from technology. Living in today's world makes it hard to completely disconnect. Those periods of being in the moment, and working on myself with positive intention has made such an impact on my life. A spiritual practice on its own I would say. When we tune into our spiritual side, and create lasting routines that make us feel good about ourselves it can really be the stepping stone to a more peaceful life.

Crystals, Numerology, Astrology, and of course Divination are big players in my spiritual practices. I love using Runes, as they are a part of my Scandinavian heritage. I feel a strong connection when I use them in my divination toolbox. Also being in sync with the moon phases is something I do without even being aware (sounds like something a Cancer sun, mercury, and ascendant might say).

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

Cosmic Cardinal: Eastern philosophies are so fascinating. If you ever want to dive deep into conversation with me, just bring up something in that area. I live my life based on the rules of Karma, and I believe everything has a purpose/happens for a reason. I believe in a world where we are all the same, made up of the same energy, and came from the same Source. We are all here experiencing our own emotions, and are here to learn life lessons.

I love learning about our minds, and what works for one may not work for another. Having the realization that we know nothing about what's right or wrong, opens up so many possibilities to what life really is.

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

Cosmic Cardinal: I have probably grown more internally than I have externally. I have changed so much in the way I talk to myself, about myself, or even the way I see and feel things. People are getting to know me all over again, and it feels good to be changed in a positive light.

Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

Cosmic Cardinal: Taking responsibility for my own happiness, and taking care of myself is the theme for 2022. This year is about getting back to myself and finding deep healing in everything

Gaia: What is your sun sign and do you feel you relate to it? If you know what your moon and ascendant signs are, do you feel like they reflect in your personality?

Cosmic Cardinal: Cancer, being my Sun, Mercury, and Ascending signs has me feeling ALL the feels… ALL the time. Some say being sensitive is considered a weakness, but what would life be if we couldn’t feel? We would be lost without an inner light. I love being a nurturer, and providing comfort to those around me. Being a safe space provider for those who need someone to talk to is a common theme in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I feel that my Natal Chart speaks so much truth about me as a person, and more intimately… myself in a spiritual sense. I believe that being aware of all the different varieties in ourselves is an essential tool we all could benefit from in our lives.  The stars don't lie - so we might as well utilize this ancient wisdom and harness our unique strengths and weaknesses through Astrology.

Gaia: Tell us about more about products or services you offer?

Cosmic Cardinal: I offer custom artwork, prints, stickers and other forms of products. I source my products through a sustainable print company, and take pride in offering eco-friendly options to my clients

I offer energy healings, with or without the use of crystals. I love working with alchemy and the powerful energy of the metaphysical world. These sessions can be done over distance (ie phone, skype etc) or in person.

Working in a hospital, and frequently seeing patients in low states makes someone like myself want to help get to the bottom of their initial suffering. It’s in my nature to think this way. The physical manifestation of an illness is the final stage, the level of awareness most of us see ourselves grasping for help the most. We tend to let things slip until we hit the physical wall where suffering cannot be ignored. I would like to assist those seeking to fix their root cause, the energetic imbalance within

The biggest take-away I am trying to say here is : the ultimate healer is ourselves. Being open to healing is where it all begins. I would love for my artwork, paired with energetic healings to help others to follow their emotions. To use them as a guiding light, instead of these things we attach ourselves to so fiercely. My artwork heals me through expression, and I would like to extend my energetic healings to the public as my personal form of He-ART-work.

Gaia: Where can we find more information about accessing your products and services?

Cosmic Cardinal:  www.cosmiccardinal.com The website is currently under construction but you can find me on Instagram at the.cosmic.cardinal! :)

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Cosmic Cardinal: Crystals (of course), a salt lamp, sacred geometry oracle cards paired with white sage!

We will be doing an online giveaway of Cosmic Cardinal's astrological mountain stickers! One for each Zodiac sign. Email us back your Zodiac sign to be entered!!

 

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Interview with Sue and Amanda creators of Soul Guidance oracle

Posted on June 30, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

 

            Sue  Amanda

Sue & Amanda created the Soul Guidance Oracle Deck to help those reading from their cards to develop self awareness and assist in their spiritual growth. Their goal is to help guide the collective on a beautiful, joyful journey.

In this 52 card deck and intuitive guide, they have integrated animals with geometric shapes, watercolors and numerology to help readers develop their intuition, consciousness, ascension and spiritual guidance.

We have had the total honour of carrying their Soul Guidance Oracle deck here at Gaia Rising! Please enjoy our interview with Sue and Amanda as we learn more about them and their oracle deck!

Gaia: Hi Sue! It is such a pleasure to be interviewing you. Thank you for providing some answers for Amanda as she is not present for the interview! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Sue: I grew up in a small town in Saskatchewan on a Ranch. Now living in Alberta. I am married, I have 2 daughters & 2 stepsons. My biggest interests are anything Spiritual as well as being in nature, surrounded by trees and the mountains. I am an Empath and Channeler. I use these gifts to help guide others and myself to co-create an authentic life.

Gaia: What inspired you to create the ‘Soul Guidance Oracle’?

Sue: I kept getting messages that I would be working with someone soon. I trusted that it will happen when the time is right. Then Amanda came over to my place one day and she said, "We should create our own deck one day, it would be so amazing." And at that moment I received the message- this was the one and it felt right. We then started researching and creating. It happened very fast and was very easy. Everything flowed easily.

Gaia: Can you tell us about the other creator on this deck, Amanda Robin?

Sue: Amanda is a good friend. She is a powerfully intuitive Medium reader and has been stepping into her gifts in bigger ways. 

Gaia: What kinds of things influenced the oracle deck? I notice you have mostly animals as symbols in the deck, what is the inspiration behind?

Sue: While Amanda and I were collaborating, we talked a lot about each of our visions and she is a lover of Spirit Animals, as am I. We decided this would be our theme as well as geometric shapes for the animals as we both felt there were not many decks created with these shapes. As with any deck the numbers were a big part of our creation as well. Then what came next for us was watercolors and it just kept flowing from there.

Gaia: Sue, tell us which 3 cards resonate with you most in the deck and why?

Sue: 3 cards that influence me, that’s a tough one - I love all of them.

I love the Butterfly - I am all about new beginnings, growth and creating more.

Pink flamingo is another favorite- creating a solid foundation. I feel without creating a foundation it is hard to build something that can withstand the forces that are put upon each one of us

Bee - Community & Dedication - I love the Bee because I feel we need community- even a small one, that are loyal and a like minded tribe. For support and space for each of us to grow and share our love.

Bat - Conquer Your Fears- I feel we need to step out of our fears and step past our ego to create a life we desire. It often creates more than we could ever imagine.

The deck as a whole. I love the colors and animals of each of the Cards as they symbolize so much for the reader.

Amanda’s favorites are:

Owl - Knowing Your Inner Purpose. This is a beautiful message to go inside and truly process where we are in our journey. What is it that we aspire to be for our souls’ purpose? 

Tiger - Time to Take a Journey. I love this card as it is a sign of a shift coming. The numerology is 4 on this card. Dedicated to your foundations, organization, structure and your angels are around supporting your movement. 

Unicorn - Magickal Wonders Await. What’s not to love about this card? It’s believing that anything is possible. New doors opening, creation and adventure. Mystic, and endless possibilities. 

Gaia: Are there other decks that you love besides your own that you would suggest to people who use oracle decks? Which ones are your favourite?

Sue: Wow this is a tough question because I do have so many decks. I am energetically connected to so many.

A few of my favorites are:

Natures Whispers by Angela Hartfield & Josephine Wale - I love the artwork and all the beautiful messages in the pictures. There are so many.

Heal Yourself - Inna Segal - I work with many people to help them see within to heal and this deck is a great guide to look within.

I am an Angel lover and Metatron is a huge guide for me- I also love the Archangel Metatron - Self Mastery Oracle by Amanda Ellis

Mystical Shaman Oracle by Alberto Villoldo, Colette Baron-Reid, Marcela Lobos

Amanda’s favorites:

Light Seers Tarot by Chris-Ann. This was the first deck of Tarot that I could easily connect with. Beautiful artwork that I could easily connect with intuitively and the meanings behind each card truly resonated with me during connection to my deck. 

The Spirit Animal Oracle by Collette Baron-Reid is one of my favourite animal decks. The detailed artwork and messages on the cards bring me much joy to read with. 

And along with Sue I love Natures Whispers by Angela Hartfield & Josephine Wall. The imagery and intuitive feelings I get from these cards are magical. These are definitely a go too for me. 

Gaia: Tell us about more about other products or services you offer?

Sue: I am a Certified Soul Coaching Practitioner® A program created by Denise Lynn. As well as I am an Angelic Reiki Master Teacher® & Healer. I have also created many spiritual courses online. I recently have started Consciousness Rising Spiritual Academy, where I continue to add courses, meditations etc. for others to do online. To help them heal what holds them back and co-create their life with the divine, as well as to help them tap into intuition and psychic gifts.

Amanda:

Amanda is a Psychic Medium that resides in Alberta, Canada. She also teaches Psychic Development as she loves to help others grow and learn at any stage of their journey.

2) You can find more information for Sue and Amanda at: www.soulworksbysuepickering.ca

Consciousness Rising Spiritual Academy at https://sue-s-school-fd25.thinkific.com

Instagram.com/soul.works.by.sue.pickering/

Amanda:

You can catch her on Facebook and Instagram at Intuitive Awakening. She also does live readings on TikTok at Intuitive.Awakening www.intuitiveawakening.ca

Gaia: Are there any other personal spiritual practices you have? Do you mind sharing about them?

Sue: My daily spiritual practices are meditation, reading something that will help me grow, journaling and I will usually pull a few cards for a daily message for me.

Gaia: Are there any spiritual philosophies, beliefs or paths you are drawn to that you would like to learn more about?

Sue: Right now, I have been drawn to learn more about Astrology & Runes.

Gaia: How do you think you have grown as a person in the last year?

Sue: I have grown so much over the last year, especially my psychic abilities and empathic abilities. I have also pushed myself out of my comfort zone putting more info and courses online. 

Gaia: What is one thing you would like to grow about yourself in 2022?

Sue: 2022 for me is about stepping more into online teaching. Helping to guide more people to heal - mostly with their shadow work. And for them to truly live authentically from their heart center. I feel our world needs more love and light.

Gaia: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising?

Sue: 

Some of my favorites in your online shop are:

- Earth Warriors Journal

- Spirit of the Wheel Meditation Deck

- Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards

- Can you ever have too much of Satya Nag Champa? 😊

- I think you have Soul Path Oracle by Terra Kenzie Longacre??  It is a deck on my wish list 😊

 

 

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