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Kari Johansen's Monthly Gaia Update

Posted on March 24, 2022 by laureen barker

                                       Kari's Monthly Gaia Update

                                       Kari

There’s a lot of information out there on Manifestation and Law of Attraction.

Many of us have seen the fruit of childhood wishes or conscious manifestation methods come into reality. It never ceases to amaze, even if we fully expect it!

I’ve noticed, however, some important missing pieces to the modern methods of intentional Law of Attraction or manifestation.  Have you ever tried to consciously manifest something only to be left feeling disappointed or disempowered by the lack of fruition you see in the months or even years to come? Maybe some things manifest while others do not & there doesn’t seem to be a ‘rhyme or reason’. Perhaps you’re still expecting something, patiently waiting for it, even though you’re beginning to question if it will ever come about. Or you’ve just given up on it altogether. 

When I’m working with someone on their Healing & Growth, manifestation is an important part of it. Not as a focus but because we manifest all the time, whether consciously or sub-consciously. When in session, I ‘tap in’ to & translate one’s Energy Systems. What I’ve often noticed in the energy and desires to manifest is such high focus on what’s wanted and creating it, that often we can miss the mark on what's in our Energetic Parameters... [disclaimer, I’m an Energy coach not a Manifestation coach].

These parameters are vast. A combination or your overall Energy signature, your timeline (past/present/future/no time), your connections with others, consciousness and all things both seen & unseen, it’s your Soul’s “Energy Spectrum”. So, when I say “miss the mark” this is not to say there is limitation to our ability to manifest at all, in fact it is incredibly limitless, magnificent and uniquely individual. The manifestations that come from this place are indescribable … the word perfect comes to mind.

The things is, it's really not about manifestation, it’s about living our best and fullest life, a life we love, abundant in all things. It’s about how this is not only possible but allowed and encouraged by the Universe. We just have to get out of the way! To do so, we must ensure our Spirit is in the driver’s seat – where it can get a clear connection with the Soul’s frequency. The ego, who always with us, sits in the backseat (fitting, as this is where a child would sit). We must be aligned in our Heart Center with the Earth & Sky energies within which we live, and in communication with our Soul – where our Energy Spectrum meets with us on this plane. Sounds like a lot, but not really. It’s just a matter of breaking it down.

I’ve observed also, there is often a sense of control coming out of the conscious creation of our life. This is partly what gets in the way. We are free to express our Soul's desires but we must be aware that sometimes our personal translation of a desire – which begins with energies not of the mind, can be misrepresented in this modern world. It’s only with a total surrender of control that we can allow the Universe to support us in our creation – as we are BEST to receive it. Because it knows BETTER THAN US what will bring the fullest potential of the feeling we search for, i.e. whatever it is we’re trying to translate… It is very much possible to achieve that feeling without the thing we think we need to get. But we must be open to that, & our Trust & Faith in that unknown must be there.

Not adapting, keeping ridged routine, holding on, maintaining pain etc. are also a common cause of ‘manifestation hold-up’. From a state of Trust, it’s important to remember; be readily willing to adjust and let go, in order to let in what we want or need. We can most easily manage it by keeping a state of Presence as much as possible. Being present, we are best able to energetically align with all current circumstances –accepting what is, able to see adjustments to be made, and readily releasing what no longer serves us.

There are so many factors in true manifestation. Energetically, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It can be discouraging to see our manifestation unfulfilled after many years. But it’s empowering to know we can align ourselves, shift patterns causing pain or limitation, readily adapt, & clear pathways for the Universe's support. Don’t give up, know that your manifestation capacity/energy spectrum connecting you to that support is on your side. Open up to new possibilities, unknown gifts of all kinds. And hold Trust & Faith that the Universe has our back.

Kari Johansen

For those who are interested in working with Kari, visit her website (EarthSoundWellness.ca) for services and to connect to ask questions. Take advantage of the Spring Equinox special (expires April 30) by entering code "SPRING22" when booking!

Holistic Health & Energy Coach

Natural Wellness Consultant

Energy Healing Practitioner

Medical Intuitive 
EarthSoundWellness.ca

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Essence of Ash : Sineating and Seidr, a continuation of our Instagram live

Posted on March 12, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

                        Essence of Ash

Ash & Dannika spoke about Sineating & Seidr in their Instagram live on March 12th. These topics go more in depth than what time allowed, so please enjoy Ash going deeper with these topics.

Dannika: You mentioned in our interview that you were wanting to learn more about ‘Sineating’ can you go into more detail of what ‘Sineating’ is and it’s origins?

Ash: I first read the book The Sineaters Last Confession: Lost Traditions of Celtic Shamanism 4 years ago, and I became fascinated with the lore surrounding these rituals. The book is based on a true story and it records Ross Heaven's fascinating journey as the sin eater's apprentice, who is introduced to the lost art of sin eating and other Celtic shamanic traditions. This spiritual memoir records the author's wondrous and moving experiences with the powerful energies of the natural world. He witnesses Adam removing negative energies from a patient, meets fairy folk, reads omens in nature, discovers his soul purpose through dreaming, goes on a vision quest in a sacred cave, and participates in a sin eating ritual. I was particularly interested in the sin eater's workbook included in the book, providing some of the same shamanic exercises and techniques practiced by Adam.

A sin-eater is a person who consumes a ritual meal in order to spiritually take on the sins of a deceased person. The food was believed to absorb the sins of a recently dead person, thus absolving the soul of the person. Sin-eaters, as a consequence, carried the sins of all people whose sins they had eaten. Cultural anthropologists and folklorists classify sin-eating as a form of ritual. It is most commonly associated with Wales, English counties bordering Wales and Welsh culture.

Today, anthropologists view the practice of sin eating as an aspect of magic that protected other people from harm. One might expect that they were respected for safeguarding people’s loved ones from damnation. Far from being appreciated for the valuable service that they gave to the community, however, sin eaters were believed to be defiled with the sins that they consumed. They didn’t merely absolve the deceased of their sins but actually absorbed them, effectively becoming sin on behalf of the community. On top of being outcasts in the next life, they were outcasts in this one, as well. It was not a pleasant job.

I am not interested in performing these rituals but I am fascinated with the techniques that Sin-eaters employed as healers in their communities or often on the outskirts of the communities. They lived alone and had extensive knowledge of herbs and their magical qualities. In the book I mentioned, the sin-eater was sharing his knowledge with an apprentice. Sin eaters were the ultimate scapegoat, they took on the burden of sin and held the responsibility of transmuting it. They were essential, masters at their craft and yet never had the connection of community. 

Dannika: You mention that you want to teach ‘Seidr Trance’ in 2022, can you explain what Seidr trance is and what Seidr means.

Ash: The definition of seidr relates to thread, circumference, a bond, or something that approaches. This leads to the idea of seidr as something that spins, a spirit thread, a circular movement that induces trance. It is commonly interpreted as the shamanism of Scandinavia, insofar as shamanism concerns itself with a trance state that invites in the possibility of undertaking journeys or “soul-flights”.

Practitioners of Seidr were known as seid-madr, seid-kona and Seidberendr. The most famous act of divinatory weird is found in Voluspa, the poetic rendering of the end Aesir and the coming of a golden age. Here the practioner is referred to as “volva”. Volva or Volve derives from Volver, carrying a staff, giving purpose to how she was holding Yggdrasil in her hands; planting the staff in the ground would be similar to erecting holy ground, allowing the world tree to stretch its roots to the ground and enter into contact with Nidhog and the Norns. Usually she was an old woman, old is defined by loss of menstruation, where she left her position as woman and mother and became something else. She became a prophetic channel, going between men and gods. Volva often carried a volr, literally, a stang (or staff), literally symbolic both of Yggdrasil and the dual acts she is capable of by being able to both bring fertility to a land or household or to take it away. So great was her position and status that even Odin himself goes to her to learn of the fate of the world and the gods. These divinations were usually a lengthy process that included songs and enchantment, galdr and silence. She could transform her shape (hamr) and her body would lie as if dead, or asleep, even though she would be a bird or beast, fish or snake and be off in a twinkling to a distant land upon her own or other peoples business. She could also do other things, still the ocean, turn the wind to any direction, she could know other fate and foresee what has not yet happened, she could bring men to death, misfortune or ill health. This was an art and power with great responsibility that is why it was upon a volva who could take up this power and straddle multiple realms at the same time. 

Dannika: In my reading I found out that the practitioners were often women sometimes referred to the völva and or Norns. These women were professional or semiprofessional practitioners of Seidr. They were both revered and reviled for being women with so much power and wisdom. Do you feel you relate to this archetype? Do you feel that we have made strides in creating respect, understanding and even admiration to these powerful, connected spiritual archetypes of women?

Ash: Volva links to my patron goddess Freya and to the crone archetype that I have cultivated my practice around. I also work with the Slavic mythical character Baba Yaga and I have found some similarities between her and the archetype of volva. 

Seidr was an art that belonged to women. It was Freya, the Vanir, who brought this wisdom to Odin, who became the master of it. Seidberendr is translated literally to “the art of the cunt”. Actually, it was considered quite complicated for a male to indulge in these arts as the accusation of ergi could arise. Ergi was meant to mean to take the more submissive part in a sexual relationship. By being subject to this particular accusation, one could lose respect, work, wife and income. 

Interestingly, the apprentice in the art of seidr was sometimes referred to as “the apprentice of the moon” as the keys to the art were thought to be hidden in the art of poetry and the abundance of soul. “Those who ride at night” were connected to Seidr. 

I am interested in teaching methods of Seidr Trance but do not identify as a Volva, I am a student of the practice and have found the trance techniques to be helpful for my rune casting. Galdr (chanting and singing) is used to enter into a trance like state, breathwork extending the length of in and out breath is used in unison to enter a state of relaxation. There is an element of ecstasy involved with Seidr trance, an elation that comes from “sitting out” in a sacred place and calling on the runes to assist in a prophetic journey or for the act of rune casting. Trance is likened to “going out” or sending the spirit out of the body aided by galdr and at times by drums. I am aiming to teach the very basics of this technique and am by no means an expert. My “Intro to Norse Magick” course will illuminate the foundation of this practice and how to begin to explore trance techniques. 

As for the question about whether we have made strides in creating respect, understanding and even admiration to these powerful, connected spiritual archetypes of women… I would say, this is just beginning to shift in our present world. The archetype of the crone is one of inner worlds over the outer expressions. The importance of intuition and developing strength in aloneness. In silence. The volva is connected with the natural world, with the elements and has the wisdom of womanhood. We are just beginning to value this type of wisdom and seek to find the places where we can learn these old traditions. In many ways, it is an unlearning process. She is wild, untamed, feral in many ways. These are not traits that we have been encouraged to explore or hold in reverence but we are edging towards a change. 

Find ash at @essence.of.ash on Instagram

Her website: www.essenceofash.com

Posted in

Interview with Essence of Ash

Posted on March 10, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

'Ash is an artist whose work revolves around the ritualistic inscription of mandalas on animal skulls. She views her artistic practice as a means of transforming grief and pain into beauty, and as a reminder of both the fragility and indestructibility of life.'

                Ash

I found myself in this interview struggling to find a word that would act as a container to describe Ash and her work, but to no avail.

A multi-disciplinary artist, archaeologist, diviner, seeker....

Essence might just be the perfect word. In all of the things she creates, the source and the completion of her creations is truly her essence.

Gaia: Hi Ash. We are so excited to get to know you. Please tell us about yourself.

Ash: I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. I was interested in witchcraft, herbalism, and divination from a young age but it was hard to find a lot of material about it at the time. I had an active inner world and often escaped into it. Living on the farm had a wild edge and I loved ripping around on the quad, helping out with seeding and spraying, and spending afternoons in the garden with my mom. There was always plenty to do and we didn’t watch much tv. I experienced depression when I was in high school and that depression deepened in my early 20s. I journeyed through illness and loss and was homeless for a time. I tried to numb pain with opioids and antidepressants, and although I never really enjoyed drinking, I gave that a go too. I couldn’t shake alienation and despair, and I attempted to take my own life a few times, with one serious attempt. After that close call, I made some major shifts and went back to University for Archaeology. The majority of my work experience was at the University. I worked in the Students’ Union, Admissions, as an Analyst and then in the College of Arts & Science as an Academic Coach and Coordinator. I took the leap into my art full time after dealing with illness that took me off of work and I re-examined what I wanted to do with my life. I had my Archaeology degree but had only gone on a couple of overseas digs. I didn’t really feel there was much of a future in the field for me, especially with my health the way it was. I flowed more energy into my art, into wellness and reconnected to spiritual traditions. I also trained as a Death Doula and started volunteering with a local hospice organization. I started living in a completely different way, embracing all the wild and witchy ways that for so long I tried to suppress. So grateful for all the ways my journey shaped me and where I have ended up.

Gaia: You seem like a bit of a Renaissance Woman, with your offerings and talents being so varied. Archaeologist, rune reader, artist, mushroom enthusiast. Why don’t we start with learning more about you, and how you found your way into Norse mythology and rune reading.

Ash: I am a bit all over the place and always have been. My interest in pagan traditions started when I was about 8. I loved to read and my auntie would gift me the most magical books. One of my favourites wove tales of Vikings and Norse gods/goddesses. Soon after, I found out that my mom’s family was Norwegian with ties to Iceland, and I felt a kinship with Norse myths. In my adolescence, I was drawn to many spiritual traditions including Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and Christianity. I was isolated growing up on a farm and attending a small town school so most of my discovery came from books. When I was 19, I started tarot reading and while I was still pulled to the runes, I felt intimidated by them. Tarot reading was my first real journey into divination. I lived with my aunt for the first year of University and she taught me a lot about variations of readings and how to connect intuitively with spirits. When I was working at the University of Saskatchewan as the Women's’ Centre coordinator I became friends with a volunteer that was well versed in Asatru. She connected me with books and rituals that shaped my relationship to the runes in a new way. I started carving my own out of wooden slices, casting and painting them into mandalas. In the last few years I finally felt comfortable creating bind runes, staves, giving readings to others, and exploring Seidr trance.

                 Handmade bone runes by Essence of Ash

                  Beautiful, handmade bone runes by Essence of Ash

Gaia: Did your voyage into divination practices conflict with any spiritual or religious beliefs that you grew up with?

Ash: My parents were atheists and the main challenge I faced was gaining permission to work with different spiritual traditions. My stepdad and I would argue over spirituality and my naivety around it. I was motivated to research as many spiritual traditions as possible to see what resonated the most. As part of my exploration, I went to each of the churches in my hometown. I couldn’t find any Buddhist representation at that time. One of my school friends went to a youth group that I ended up attending with them. I found these environments really welcoming but limiting in some of the beliefs. Eventually, I fell out with the church and came back to pagan practices.

Gaia: If you find that you connect to runes more than other divination tools, why do you feel this is?

Ash: I see the runes as ancient beings. They have layers of access and as far as I have experienced, there is no end to their expansion. When I first started working with divination, they were two-dimensional, translated from books alone. I think this is where the intimidation came from; I didn’t feel close enough to them and wasn’t sure how to enter into deeper initiation. I thought there was a process that I could find or someone could teach me. Eventually, runes became part of every experience. On a hike, I would see the shapes in tree branches, lichen on a moss in the shape of Fehu, roots that cross into Tyr, pebbles that formed a stave. They were in my dreams as beings, with bodies and voices, imbued with messages and intentions. I think working with the runes makes me feel closer to my ancestors. I went to Iceland in 2018 and my relationship with the runes transformed on that trip. They moved in a way that was beyond understanding and my love for them deepened. I feel my great great grandparents in them. I feel roots in them. They are incredibly nurturing but also keep me on my toes.

                       Ash tarot card

                                    Ash and the Hermetic Tarot

Gaia: Do you experiment with other divination tools? Do you think you would incorporate them into your offerings in the future?

Ash: My first love was tarot, and I often do readings for friends, family and for myself. I took a course from Lindsay Mack called ‘Tarot for the Wild Soul’ and it enlightened me to richer meanings and what they can symbolize. They have become a tool that I rely on daily to help navigate challenges and see rising themes in my life. In the past year, I have taken a step back from offering tarot because I wanted to ground into my runic divination. Another practice that I have explored is using animal skulls as scrying tools. I would use the cranial cavity of a cleaned skull to see what patterns arise and what messages naturally come up. Lupa has a fascinating book on this called Skull Scrying: Animal Skulls in Trance Work. This is something I would like to offer in the future in connection with Seidr magic. I also talk about dreams all the time. My dreams have been incredibly important to me since I was a child and I love interpreting them. I have done ‘Gateway’ training with the Monroe Institute focusing on methods for astral projection and out-of-body experiences. Using methods like binaural beats and meditation before sleep, altered states of consciousness can be entered into. I would like to offer sharing circles or workshops to explore dream interpretation and astral projection methods in the future. 

Gaia: How did you get into studying Archaeology?

Ash: First I wanted to be a writer, then an artist, and when I wasn’t encouraged in either of those directions, I sought out the next thing that I was most passionate about, Archaeology. We would find arrowheads, pottery shards, and fossils on the farm and I would collect everything in such awe and appreciation even if I didn’t fully understand what they were. My great grandfather had an impressive knowledge of historical Archaeology sites in the area and he piqued my interest in these subjects. Initially I chose Archaeology because I desired a job where I could be outside as much as possible and handle objects with a story, items that held threads of meaning for someone at some time. Although I currently am not employed as an Archaeologist, my studies and experiences have shaped the methodical way that I work with discoveries. I still spend the majority of my time outside on the hunt for “treasure” or bone fragments in the forest.

Gaia: Does your background in Archaeology influence you or support you in your spiritual studies and your art?

Ash: I think that studying Archaeology created an insatiable curiosity that translated into my spiritual life and art. I try to keep child-like wonder alive and constantly seek out new ways of being fully in the world. My partner and I hike quite a bit and enjoy exploring new places in the Kootenays. Methods of identification and analysis that were part of my schooling help me to stay present when we are adventuring outdoors. I am usually scanning the ground, surveying the trail and pushing off into the trees to see what I can find. I love learning about past cultures' spiritual practices and a lot of my Archaeological papers focused on speculating on the meaning behind those practices. I still spend a great deal of time reading books about how magic has been portrayed over time. I think that my passion for Archaeology weaves seamlessly into my current work.

                    Skull mandala art

                                     Lynx Skull art by Essence of Ash

Gaia: Tell us more about your art! What inspired you to make art out of skulls? What other kinds of art do you create?

Ash: I started collecting animal skulls and bones when I was living on our family farm. I took up decorating them after a trip to India in 2012. I was painting mandalas as a form of meditation and a way to deal with my depression. Decorating the skulls in a ritualistic way became an equally healing expression. I felt like I was transforming something mundane into a sacred object, through my eyes anyways. Cleaning skulls, seeing them from gruesome into a whitened canvas felt like a really nourishing process. Honestly, I didn’t think I would be selling animal skulls when I started painting them. It happened naturally and helped me through very dark times. The skulls came from trappers, farmers, friends that found them on trails or on their land and I had to learn about the permits and appropriate paperwork to obtain animal remains legally. I liked the idea of taking care of these remains that would otherwise be discarded. I would create honoring rituals for the animal, a sort of funeral and gratitude blessing for the life that once was before cleaning the skull. My art has since really branched off from the skulls and includes mushrooms, plant medicines, resin, altars, wood carvings and embroidery.

Gaia: How did you get into incorporating mushrooms into your art?

Ash: I really don’t know when my fungi obsession started. I feel like it was love at first sight. These last few years its been a new level of mushroom madness. I started collecting spore prints because the variation of prints were fascinating and sometimes the only way to identify species. The spore prints looked so much like an iris that I created mandalas mimicking the Greek evil eye. Then I experimented with using mushrooms as natural paint and dye for bones. It might sound silly but mushrooms bring me a lot of joy. I love spotting as many different kinds of fungi as possible and learning about mycelial networks (nature’s internet!). Amanita Muscaria has been the queen of my mushroom dreams and a lot of my art is focused around those spore prints. I work closely with plant allies, primarily poison plants and Amanita have been big teachers since I started exploring with the medicine. I don’t consume Amanita. I work primarily with prints and dried specimens. I also work in a similar fashion with Datura, Foxglove, Henbane, Mandrake and Brugmansia.

                        Mushroom art

     Mushroom spore print 'Evil eye' art interpretation by Essence of Ash

Gaia: Your art seems to be strong expressions of all your interests combined… is this a natural process? Does it require a lot of thought and consideration? Left or right brain kind of process?

Ash: I am winging it most of the time. It has been a very organic process to bring all interests together and I don’t spend much time thinking about the cohesiveness. This is what feels most natural, I am following my joy through the tools that nourish me the most. I am not highly organized in all areas of my life and business. The reason I chose ‘Essence of Ash’ is to allow that freedom of exploration, to move in many directions following interests that arise and diving into the practices that align. I always want room to grow and change as much as possible.

                     Mushroom art

                         Mushroom spore print art by Essence of Ash

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

Ash: I am interested in the tradition of Sineating. Ever since I read the book The Sineater’s Last Confessions: Lost Traditions of Celtic Shamanism, I have been completely intrigued by this form of healing. This tradition explores plant medicine, deciphering omens and communicating with nature spirits. My other spiritual practices come from psychedelic journeys and plants that I work with to help heal my own trauma and depression. I have found it useful to journey with Ayahuasca, DMT, and Psilocybin. In some ways these sacred medicines have saved my life and I continue to integrate my experiences with these teachers daily.

                     Skull art by Essence of Ash

                     Coyote Skull art with Mandala by Essence of Ash

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

Ash: I have always been drawn to Tibetan Buddhism and the Vajrayana path. I am especially drawn to the Dakinis in this tradition and how they cut through illusions. My experience is limited with diamond way teachings but I am interested in finding a group to sit with and go deeper into these methods.

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?

Ash: I am Scorpio through and through. My sun and moon signs are both Scorpio and ascendant Sagittarius. I am an Aries North Node. I am not nearly as murky and moody as my chart would claim! I do spend a lot of time in the emotional realm and feeling into the existential abyss. If there is anything that is spot on, it’s the introverted Scorpio narrative. My Sag wants to connect and I can be very energetic and playful but I need a major recharge after being around people. I crave one on one connection always but my anxiety flares up at events. I relate to Baba Yaga's crone energy. My happy place is puttering around in the garden, making concoctions, and planning adventures in the forest. There is definitely an intensity that comes with being a double Scorp that can be exhausting. It means overanalyzing, over-feeling, and seeking out the root to everything. It’s a gift in a lot of ways but I regularly try to shake off the seriousness and be jolly.

                          Skull art

                                  Elk Skull art by Essence of Ash

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

Ash: Moving to Nelson has brought with it some major changes. I have sustained myself almost completely through my Essence of Ash business and moved a lot of my services online. This wasn’t entirely the plan but I couldn’t find an Archaeology contract position or anything at Selkirk College that fit my job experience. Leaving my community of family and friends in Saskatchewan was difficult and I still do not know many people in the Nelson area. I have always been a kind of recluse but this past year, even more so. I started volunteering with the Kootenay Wildlife Rescue (Little Mittens) and had the opportunity to take care of some wild animals that really warmed my heart. I started taking the BC Real Estate Licensing Course this past Fall and will be writing the exam in June. That has allowed me to grow in a lot of ways and brought me back into study/learning mode which is one of my favourite states. I feel motivated and driven to move outside of my comfort zone. The Spring and Summer were busy months of wildcrafting tinctures, hunting mushrooms, camping and exploring the vast, beautiful Kootenays. We live just outside of Nelson so I have enjoyed living closer to the forest and the water, less noise and more connection to the wise trees. I have felt the wildness returning since we came to the mountains. There is room to expand and play. I have found new interests including embroidery, sewing, and block printing.

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

Ash: I would like to make videos about Norse magic, rune casting and Seidr trance. Most of the sharing has been by writing, instagram posts, photos, or on my website, but I am aiming to create different content that is more interactive including live reels, interviews with other artists, and informative videos. I would love to capture rune casting sessions, reels about the process of making runes, cleaning animal skulls, and mushroom identification (or spore prints). I have an offering coming up on March 23 - April 27th, an Introduction to Norse Magick 6 week course that is delivered through zoom. I am going to be preparing more classes and workshops, this is something I have been working up to for a long time and I am really thrilled about. I am getting some branding work done by a local artist in Nelson called November Wild. This will help grow my business and I can't wait to work with her on a new logo. I also hope to welcome more opportunities for collaboration in the next year.

                       Skull

                           Cat Memorial Skull Art by Essence of Ash

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

Ash: The products really vary based on what I am in the mood for creating. I always have skulls available for custom including wolves, lynx, fox, coyote and bear (more available on request). Details on my custom process can be found at www.essenceofash.com. I also offer pet memorial, where I create a ceremony for a pet that is passing, and I can clean pet skulls. I have done pet memorial paintings using ash remains. Information about this can be found on my website. Rune Casting readings include: 3 rune spread (past, present, future), 5 rune spread (based on the elements), ship-burial method rune spread, and a 24 runic year spread. Custom Bind runes, combining runes to create an intentional symbol or talisman, is by far my favourite service to offer. They can be used for tattoos, altars, visions, logos or jewellery. Includes a digital file of the bind rune and write-up on the runes integrated.1:1 Rune Magic Mentorship: these sessions cover an introduction to the Elder Futhark, embodiment practices, daily rituals, bind runes, casting techniques, how to make your own rune set, Seidr Magick basics, and how to use staves. I am doing these sessions primarily online for now. I will be offering Tarot Card readings again in the near future. I am also a trained Death Doula who works with end of life clients. For more information on this, I recommend reaching out so I can explain what the end of life support can look like and what I am able to offer. I have my Jikiden reiki certification and can provide distance reiki sessions. I am always working on bindrunes, staves, spore print art, bone mandalas, and I post this under the ‘for sale’ highlight on my Instagram page @essence.of.ash

                        Art

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

Ash: My instagram @essence.of.ash is the most up to date with offerings, information can also be found on my website www.essenceofash.com. My email address is essenceskulls@gmail.com.

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

Ash: Incense, Scandinavian folklore books, Norse pagan books, Tourmaline, Jet, Obsidian, Kyanite, Beeswax candles, mushroom rings, and Tarot cards (there are so many to choose from!!).

Ash and Dannika from Gaia Rising will be doing an Instagram live on March 12th at 1pm! Make sure you attend this very special live event!

Posted in

Interview with Peggy of Chateau Blanche

Posted on March 03, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

Chateau Blanche is an independent artist and creates beautiful & funny stickers, cards, mugs and many other products!

                               Peggy

We found Peggy's line and could not resist bringing it in to Gaia.

                     Bong

Being a metaphysical shop, in the Kootenays & next door to Buddy's Pot Shop, the themes of occult, spirituality & marajuana combined seemed to be a perfect fit for our shop.

Gaia: When did you start creating art?

Peggy: I've always loved creating. In my earliest memories I'm drawing, painting, sculpting, & collaging. If it had anything to do with making art, objects, pictures etc. I wanted to try it.

Gaia: What were some of the first mediums you worked with in creating your art?

Peggy: I have memories of raiding my parents' business supply closet and using basic copy paper stapled down the side to resemble a sketch book, red & black bic ballpoint pens, & yellow highlighters.

Gaia: On your Instagram page you describe yourself as a ‘Greeting card company gone rogue’. Did you only initially start with greeting cards and break into other things? When did this happen?

Peggy: I was primarily a greeting card company for the first year and I slowly branched out to other things that my art would work on. Enamel pins & patches, stickers & magnets. Art prints & keychains & mugs. I made a coloring book once too. I enjoy several processes outside of drawing so a lot of the handmade items are products of my desire to work with a specific medium. What do I want to work with right now? Do I want to play with clay and make ashtrays or ring cones? Do I want to experiment with resin & gold leaf & crystals? Do I want to zen out and paint wood beads for keychains and roach clips?

           hbd

Gaia: Do you plan to grow your collection to other products?

Peggy: Oh absolutely. I will always want to play with my creativity through trying new things and learning as many artistic processes as I can. Sometimes I try a new process and I'm hooked! Other times I'll try something and immediately realize I never want to do it again.

                 topshelf

Gaia: We absolutely love your weed tarot stickers! What are your favourite pieces from your line?

Peggy: Any of my recent stickers & coffee mugs. Those products allow me a bit more creative wiggle room as opposed to designing an event specific greeting card. Also part of the reason I've continued to "go rogue".

                          selfcare

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

Peggy: The most challenging thing about being an artist is that I've made it my career. When I draw or design something there's pressure for it to be well received & marketable while still being authentic. The most rewarding thing about being an artist is that I made it my career. My actual job is to make things that others enjoy enough to give as gifts or buy for themselves and that's really really cool. The most exciting thing is that I get to write off all my art supplies.

                            stickers

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

Peggy: Honestly, I didn't grow much last year. That sounds bad, but I was just trying to get through it, ya know? I've probably grown more in the last month than I did the entirety of 2021.

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

Peggy: Giving myself and others more grace. We're all doing our best.

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?

Peggy: My sun sign is Scorpio and yes 100%. My ascendant is Scorpio and my moon is in Leo. These are also all too accurate. I'm also considered a cusp baby, born on November 22nd... so I have quite a few Sagittarius traits as well.

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

Peggy: What would be in your shopping bag at Gaia Rising? White Onyx Runes. Selenite Yin Yang Candle Holder. Herbal Tarot Deck. Gratitude Journal. Bee by the Sea Hand Soap, Shampoo and Conditioner. :)

                 Dope

We carry a number of Chateau Blanche stickers, cards & some mugs at Gaia Rising....

But you can find Chateau Blanche online @ https://linktr.ee/chateaublanche

 

Posted in

Interview with Kari Johansen of EarthSound Wellness

Posted on March 02, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

                                        Kari Johansen

Edited by Tyler Isaacs-Dejong

We are super excited to present this interview with Kari of EarthSound Wellness with all of you! 

You can also listen to the recorded interview here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SzMp0_z8E8

Kari is a Shamanic Energy Coach & Natural Health Consultant with a large range of offerings and a large tool box in helping others on their healing journey.

Her work is a full spectrum of holistic offering.

She offers one-on-one coaching, the direction based on what the individual's needs are, from 1-day intensives, to a customized 3-session mini-program, to her signature 12-week programs, Energetic Wellness Transformation or The Power of S.E.L.F. (Soul Education for Living in Fulfillment). Kari offers natural health consulting: the Mind & Body sessions for the straight shooters, or Health & Soul sessions that provide more of a spiritual perspective. She offers BioEnergetic Tuning to locals (tuning fork therapy), and this year she will be offering her workshops online!

Dannika, one of our store managers has been working with Kari for many years and is a big fan of her work:

"When I started my healing journey, I was quite young and Kari's sensitivity, intuitive approach, and overall nurturing energy really helped me pull through some of my most challenging energy blockages. I did many different therapies with Kari. I started out with BioEnergetic Tuning (tuning fork therapy) and this really did help bring my energy centers back into balance. This set the tone for the rest of my healing journey. From there I enrolled in a workshop with other women in the community that I really admired. The strong bonds we had were the cherry on top of the workshop, but the workshop itself helped me go deeper into developing my intuition and developing a stronger trust with my inner knowing. My work with Kari has been broken up over the years and has aided me in different stages of my life. When I had my feet under me, there always seemed to be more work to do :P But because I built a strong foundation, I was able to go through a coaching program with Kari a couple of years ago that really helped me heal my attitudes towards abundance, receiving and growing prosperity. I will continue to work with Kari as long as I live I'm sure :P"

Kari will also be contributing to our newsletter, with a monthly article about various areas of her expertise!

For now, please enjoy our interview with Kari :)

Gaia: Tell us a bit about yourself. Background, upbringing, interests…

Kari: I’m in my mid-40’s. I have two boys (thirteen and just about eight years old) who are with me full time. We like to hike, go to the beach, and go camping in the summer, and in the winter we like to toboggan, ski, and get cozy and watch movies. For myself, I enjoy meditation (which is more of an offering and prayer ceremony for me). I enjoy my work, fasting, and walking daily… Oh, and sleeping! (Haha) I really enjoy a good sleep!

Gaia: What was your life like before you found your spiritual path? Did you have spiritual and healing interests from a young age? What was your life like before you became a healer? What did you do for work?

Kari: Wow, that’s a lot! Let’s see… Before my spiritual path – as it is today, when I was a kid I was certainly spiritual and didn’t know it. It was quiet praying in bed at night. I had an intrinsic Faith. And connecting with a part of me inside that knew and felt things that couldn’t be explained by the outside world. I kept them to myself. No one around me related or understood. If I tried sharing, well, let’s just say I learned quickly that expressing my true feelings or unusual observations didn’t help my sense of belonging – even in my immediate family. So I learned to fit in, and I became very good at it, doing “ALL the right things.” So before I started helping people heal full-time, I had a successful career in corporate records/information consulting and project management.     

Gaia: What guided you to go in the direction of healing as an offering?

Kari: At the beginning of my corporate career I knew it was not “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” It was just a job, I knew I had a passion for something else deep down. I also had numerous health concerns, later discovering they were due to repressing my many sensitivities and my true nature growing up. My health led me to some dire circumstances, including the emergency room. And time and again, mainstream medicine had no answers for me and gave me things that made me feel worse or gave me other issues. Finally, I found myself seeing a master herbalist. It was certainly far more “alternative” then, and I was careful at first who I told about it, but not for long, because when she changed my health 110% for the better, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!  Annette Bossart, she was my first big inspiration. I said, “If I could do this for just one person in my life, it will have made my entire life worth living.” And I was only a few months into my healing and learning with her. This was the start. I enrolled in a Master Herbology diploma program through night school at Wild Rose College in Calgary. This is where I found my path.

While studying at Wild Rose (in the Herbology program and in other areas of the Natural Healing Arts) I came across Jaki Daniels’ course “The Shaman’s Path.” I knew immediately this was the fork in the road I was looking for. I needed to honor that part of me I had always kept hidden from the people around me and society. Learning from Jaki opened up my world to ancient practices of healing and spiritual, indigenous traditions, and I was HOOKED (to say the least)! It all resonated truth and felt like home… for the first time in my life.

Gaia: Your practice has evolved over the years.. Can you tell us about where you started and what kinds of healing services you offered before the shift in your practice?

Kari: It was at that point, actually doing a ‘Shamanic Journey’ assignment, where I received what Spirit told me was my “greatest gift on this Earth,” and, to my surprise, I was given a tuning fork! (Haha) I had no idea at the time, but feeling obligated to look into it I discovered tuning forks are used as tools in vibrational healing. I took a course on tuning fork healing and the instructor told me I had a natural talent – I felt it. It just made sense and I knew exactly how to use them.

So began my path of study and practice in energy medicine. In the early days of my work with the tuning forks as a healing tool, I developed my signature methodology. It’s called BioEnergetic Tuning Therapy (BioET) and I still offer it to people locally, but on occasion. Approximately eleven years ago I noticed… an increasing need to teach & guide my clients in their overall health, alongside their Tuning sessions, in support of more complete, lasting healing. I began see the time spent doing this with them increasing organically, holding a greater importance. At the same time I was delving deeper into my Shamanic studies, personal work, exploration and discovery. And I received a very clear message that I needed to “help people learn to heal themselves”. Meaning, BioET was helping them heal, but they needed to be more responsible for their own healing path and empowered to take hold of it. That message is really what brought me to the major shift in my practice.

Gaia: Can you tell us about your practice now? What do you focus on in helping people?

Kari: That shift, it was a tough pill to swallow, but (like the red pill in the Matrix) I had no choice – I learned years before, when Spirit guides, you heed that guidance without question. The decision was made, I just wasn’t sure how to go about it. And it was scary, I had a strong footing in my BioET practice at that time and was enjoying offering spiritual connection workshops. But, along with Spirit’s guidance, the Universe was lining me up too (as it always does), windows opened for my practice to evolve, some in disguise as hardship. Many Spiritual “tests” (as they say), but all leading me to be better equipped to “Help people learn to heal themselves.” 

So, in search of the “HOW” I came to realize the health and wellness teaching and guidance I had been offering was essentially what is well known today as coaching. So, in order to be qualified and have a method for providing structure to and streamlining what I was already doing, I got a Health Coach Certification.  It’s been a process, that’s for sure! Especially with two little kiddos in tow along the way. But now, I’ve fully integrated my background in herbology, nutrition, shamanic healing, energy medicine (and everything else), with my skills in supporting and guiding people into better health and wellness. I have several service offerings and currently serve North America and West Europe. If anyone is interested, they can find what I offer on my website: It’s EarthSoundWellness.ca

Gaia: I notice that you focus on supporting empaths more in your work these days. Why is this? What is the importance of offering support to these highly sensitive people?

Kari: This is actually just one area where I specialize. I suppose the importance is in my personal journey as an empath. As a child, as I said, I felt things and knew things others didn’t notice. It was a tough and lonely childhood, and that lead into the health challenges I mentioned – not only physical, but mental, emotional, and spiritual. I feel my path of healing and growth as an empath has divinely driven me in this direction. Empaths are often misunderstood, often don’t understand themselves, and need real support and guidance from someone who gets it!

Gaia: Can you tell us about your “Empowered Empath Group” on Facebook and how someone might go about joining it?

Kari: Oh! Well, I forgot about people joining it. (Haha) I’m glad you mentioned it. I will make sure there is a link on my website. And, for anyone who wants to search it up on Facebook, I believe it’s the only group with that name, but the full name is “Empowered Empath – Healing Experiences & Support.” I created this group as a place for empaths or highly sensitive people to come together with others like us. And to share my availability to support and help with any healing or growth challenges they may be facing.

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

Kari: That’s a good question… It’s hard to differentiate myself – what I personally offer, from my work services. I guess it’s because my spiritual self, guides my work so much. I guess… things I haven’t mentioned are my abilities as an empath, what I call “high-degree empath” where I am able to tap into and energetically translate almost anything. And along with that, being a medical intuitive (from the Biochemical perspective). These really, I think set me apart.  From a broader perspective, I have a highly knowledgeable, wise, and committed “Spiritual Team” who provide invaluable insights and information I could never imagine on my own. This relates very much to the instances of channeling I do in sessions. On an even more personal level, I offer my 100% dedication to helping my clients. I’m passionate about my work and I’m gratefully obligated to fulfill it as my purpose. 

Gaia: What are your hopes and wishes for the people that you work with?

Kari: What I want most for my clients is for them to achieve whatever they set out to have, be or do in working with me. I always set the intention for them before each session, that is;  “to have a meaningful experience in healing or growth that they can carry with them throughout their days”.

Gaia: What is your vision for the world and humanity?

Actually, I was going to mention this with my previous answer. My ultimate hopes & wishes are in the EarthSound Wellness business Mission & Vision Statements. They’re a tall order, call me a dreamer! {Haha}  But, we can’t get anywhere if we don’t believe in & work for our dreams.  If you’re interested, check them out on my website, EarthSoundWellness.ca

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

Kari: The regular meditation I do and teach to my clients. It’s (like I said) more of an offering and prayer ceremony. It’s quite involved with many different essences offered, and processes of connecting with Spirit and higher consciousnesses, energetic cleansing, chakra clearing, balancing and alignment, and more… I have many other spiritual practices but it’s really a whole topic in itself.

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

Kari: I have integrated so much into my work, I find for the most part I just end up delving deeper into each to increase or better my knowledge base. But something I have only a basic understanding of, and have always been interested in and would love to learn more thoroughly is Ayurvedic Medicine.

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

Kari: Another great question! Hummm… You know, just when you get settled there’s always another layer to healing and growth. In the past year I, yet again gained an even greater, more profound depth of certainty in my connection with my higher power and (as I like to say) a “trust & faith that the Universe has my back.” I’ve also grown into a whole new level of Self-love and taking care of myself. As a single parent I think I lost track of that for a while.

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

Kari: I’m glad you asked. I firmly believe that to grow we must heal something (and vice versa). Based on this, I want to make an important point; that we are ALL always healing & growing. If not, we’re dying. I’ve found over the years that many people think a healer or guru isn’t good enough unless they are perfect or “done their healing.” Not true. In fact, it’s only the BEST healers who are unapologetically on a continual path of their own healing and growth. And ideally, they’re only a few steps ahead of the person they’re helping. That said, I’m glad you asked this, because I just TODAY added a couple things for myself to work on and hadn’t yet acknowledged them. I won’t get into the gory details (Haha) but I can say for sure, if I successfully grow out of these two obstacles I will feel like a whole new person – yet again! 

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?

Kari: My sun sign is Aquarius and I definitely relate to it on many levels, one being that I’m ridiculously proud to be Aquarius – which is a very Aquarian trait! (Haha) My rising sign is Libra and moon sign Cancer. I relate to these very much. For example (respectively), I often build bridges for people in conflict. I do this automatically, unless I purposely stop myself. I find it a successful trait in my work and group friendships. My moon sign, on the other hand, brings in my least favorite trait (in conflict with my sun sign). It’s caused some minor turmoil in my past but it’s not at all troublesome in my life right now. 

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

Kari: It’s a wide range really, being that my work is full-spectrum holistic. Coaching services offer various approaches depending on one's needs. From one-day intensives, or a customized three-session mini-program, to my signature twelve-week programs, Energetic Wellness Transformation or The Power of S.E.L.F. (Soul Education for Living in Fulfillment). I offer natural health consulting: the Mind & Body sessions for the straight shooters, or Health & Soul sessions that provide more of a spiritual perspective. I offer BioEnergetic tuning to locals, and this year I will be offering my workshops online.

I offer initial/introduction calls that are always free. I won’t work with someone who I’m not sure I can help – so we need to chat first. If I can’t, I will provide a referral or suggestions in a positive direction. 

It’s worth mentioning some things not always clear in my services; I specialize in spiritual healing or post-ceremony integration, and as said before, empath awareness, healing, and empowerment. I also offer support as an alternative health advocate, specifically focused on helping individuals navigate the broad world of the Natural Healing Arts and find the right modalities for their needs, quickly, before spending countless hours and dollars “trying different things,” which can be a long path!  

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

Kari: If you’re interested in learning more about my services the easiest way to go about it would be to check out my website. And even better, go there and book a free intro call so we can meet, get focused on your direction, and find out if my work is the right decision for you. My website (again) is EarthSoundWellness.ca and there’s a link to schedule that free call right on the first page. 

In the near future, I will have a page on my site of products as well. I’m very excited. These will be items I have recommended for years. I stand by them and encourage my clients, friends, and family to own in support of their best health and wellness.

Gaia: We are so excited to be collaborating with you in our bi-weekly newsletter, with your contribution being once monthly. Can you give us an ‘in’ as to some of the themes you will be covering?

Kari: Well, I don’t know. That would be spoiling the surprise! (Haha) I don’t have a concrete plan, generally speaking. I will aim to be current and relatable, offer outside-the-box tips and practical advice. Themes, with me, are always health and wellness but that is a big basket – from the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual bodies, to the energetics of life, work, money and relationships. I’m excited too!  

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

Kari: Ooooh! Virtual shopping!! Hmmm. Let’s see… Number one, definitely a good variety of resins! Maybe an extra sage, cedar and sweet grass smudge. Some crystals for my pockets to support my chakras in this crazy world. And since it’s virtual and no cost… I’ll splurge and get those earrings and pendant I’ve been wanting!

We are going to be collaborating with Kari on a special offer in the near future! Stay tuned for details!

EarthSound Wellness

 

 

 

Posted in

Rise of the New Earth, A conversation with Kosmic T!

Posted on February 10, 2022 by Dannika Soukoroff

        RISE OF A NEW EARTH
    Meet Nelson's very own Kosmic T! With his recent release of his new album 'Rise of the new Earth' Tanin is quickly reaching people's hearts & embedding love into their consciousness. With such a crazy reality we presently live in, this album has been so uplifting, inspiring and encouraging to many people in the area and beyond! If you need some grounding and reassurance for the future, I highly recommend this album to bring you back to center.
    "A world of harmony, cooperation, and unmatched beauty, rooted in the generosity of the human spirit and a profound reverence for the whole of life. If you listen closely enough you may catch glimmers of these future-dreamings in some of my songs." -Kosmic T
         RISE OF THE NEW EARTH
      This is a very special interview as our interviewer Dannika has known Tanin for a number of years. They met at the Yasodhara Ashram in Riondel B.C. (Crawford Bay Area). 
      Ashram
 "Oh Dannika, you of all people should know the answer to this one 😉 It’s hard to say when my “spiritual journey” began but it sure kicked into high-gear when I hit a succession of rock-bottom moments and decided I really needed to change my life." -Kosmic T
Not only is it a special interview for two friends, but so exciting to share, because Tanin Shunter is such a light to the world and was always an inspiration and teacher for Dannika.
Dannika (Gaia): What inspired you to focus on spiritual themes in your music? How did they marrying of the two come about?

Kosmic T: I think any true music is a spiritual experience - it touches the deeper places within ourselves that maybe we didn’t know were there, it opens us up to seeing life in a new way, it connects with our hearts, our beauty, our pain, our longing, our deepest desires and dreams. If music doesn’t move you - what’s the point! If it doesn’t challenge you, or invite you into previously unknown places then I ain’t all that interested. I see music as a vehicle for Spirit and I do my best to be a conduit for the vast benevolence of the earth, stars and Creation to sing through me. Music is the breath of Spirit - our lives are nothing-but song!

Dannika (Gaia): When did your spiritual journey begin? What prompted you to follow a spiritual path? :D (I might know a little about this)....

Kosmic T: Oh Dannika, you of all people should know the answer to this one 😉 It’s hard to say when my “spiritual journey” began but it sure kicked into high-gear when I hit a succession of rock-bottom moments and decided I really needed to change my life. This led to all manner of conspiring on behalf of the universe to bring me to where I needed to be and eventually plopped me in the lap of Yasodhara Ashram on the east shores of Kooetenay lake (where Dannika and I first met for a 1 month karma yoga intro program). It felt like I’d arrived at a real-life Hogwarts! From that time-on something was activated activated in me and I’ve been nurturing the light of my soul (to the best of my ability) ever since.

Dannika (Gaia): I have heard that you have local voice features on your album ‘Rise of the New Earth’. Mind sharing with us who they are and how you decided how to feature them?

Kosmic T: Yes one of my favourite things about this album, and what really differentiates it from my first album “Seeds Of Light”, was the level of community involvement. As a quick-aside, through the generosity of the community we raised over $7000 on Gofundme to complete the album, which was incredible. As for voice features - some of my dearest mentors & friends are on this album - including my beloved partner Cassandre and the voices of some very sweet children in my life. To welcome in the voices of my friends not only made the songs 1000X more potent and beautiful - but made the whole recording process a lot more fun! 

CommunityKids

Community features on 'Rise of the new Earth' during album recording.

Dannika (Gaia): I have listened to both your ‘Seeds of Light’ and ‘Rise of the New Earth’ both very extensively. I noticed musically that there was a shift in style. There seemed to be less rap features and more focus on melodies and musicality overall. Can you share about how your style has evolved over time? Do you feel it has shifted dramatically?

Kosmic T: Yes with “Seeds Of Light” I was still early-on in the process of finding my authentic voice and still had a lot of ideas about how hiphop music should sound. Fast forward 7 years and I have come to appreciate a much wider spectrum of music and found that there are absolutely no shoulds when it comes to the creative process! Traditional hiphop/rap can often have an aggressive masculine edge to it (with no shortage of ego, competitiveness, and posturing) where-as in the last 7 years I’ve become much more in touch with the essential feminine qualities of my being - those qualities of yielding, dreaming, nurturing, attuning, and listening to receive higher/deeper inspirations from the heart. This comes across in my new tunes as a more melodious voice that is both freer and bolder because of how I’ve learned (and am still learning) to honour both my inner masculine, and my inner feminine equally. These two aspects of Creation, united & ignited are capable of some pretty powerful stuff!

                 SEEDS OF LIGHT

'Seeds of light' Kosmic T's first release-- also available at Gaia Rising.

Dannika (Gaia): Which songs on your new album stand out to you in all ways, musically, lyrically, production…I really love 'Deep Within', 'Rainbow Warriors' & 'Return of the bird tribe'....

Kosmic T: Hmmmm…. I really love “Fearlessly Free” I think the production on that one turned out bad-ass and I love the fiery-passion I bring through in that song. I think from an instrumental standpoint I love “Pachamama” with the gorgeous flutes and the river-like melodies that carry the song along to it’s conclusion. I was so fortunate to work with DJ Taz Rashid & Momentology on this project - purveyors of such high quality, inspirational frequencies my voice can’t help but come out and play! And my brother from the south Paulo Germano is an absolutely world-class audio engineer who really helped bring these songs to life.

Dannika (Gaia): Which song represents your soul mission on Earth the best? What would you say your soul mission is here? (Not to put the pressure on)....

Kosmic T: Glad to see we’re moving back to the more mundane questions here 😉 Hmm that’s a tricky one - I think the album as a whole is an interconnected tapestry that represents who I am, what I stand for, and my sense of mission… buuuut if I had to give an answer I would say the “Taripaypacha” comes closest to nailing my soul-mission here. “Taripaypacha” is a quechua word that comes from the Inca, and it refers to a prophesied age where we re-encounter ourselves and have the opportunity to consciously evolve into the next Golden Age. And here is the kicker…. WE ARE LIVING IN THOSE TIMES RIGHT NOW!!!!! Sound too good to be true? Not to the irrational wisdom of the heart. The prophecy of these times have been spoken of in different tongues by countless wisdom traditions all around the world - and it is this vision of a New Earth, the dawning of the Taripaypacha, that I am here to serve and consecrate my life to.

Dannika (Gaia): Any plans on a new album in the near future?

Kosmic T: Why yes actually… I’ve been quietly working on another full-album over the course of the last 6 months or so. Here is a Gaia Rising sneak-peak exclusive - the name of the album (subject to change) is “ Kosmic T - Freedom Fire” and it feels like it’s arrival is rather timely. I’ll let your imagination dream into what the main themes for this one may be 😉

Dannika (Gaia): What does your dream for humanity look like? What does your dream for yourself look like?

Kosmic T: I believe we are neck-deep in one of the greatest transformations the Earth has ever seen. This transformation is rooted in a profound shift in consciousness where the truth of love is waking up in us like never before and dismantling all the illusions of separation that have held us bound. An often messy and absolutely necessary process…I dream of a world where the rivers, oceans and lakes run clean and pure, the air we breath is fresh and clear, the lands are tended- to by an awakened species and where nature is respected and cared for as the Mother that she is. A world where our children can truly thrive in the absolute safety of a world without fear. I believe we are evolving into a peaceful civilization, eventually destined for the stars,  and that the last vestiges of fear are clinging for dear life… but even they know their reign was never meant to last. A world of harmony, cooperation, and unmatched beauty, rooted in the generosity of the human spirit and a profound reverence for the whole of life. If you listen closely enough you may catch glimmers of these future-dreamings in some of my songs.

Dannika (Gaia): Your art seems to be strong expressions of all your interests combined… is this a natural process? Does it require a lot of thought and consideration? Left or right brain kind of process?

Kosmic T: When I’m “tapped in” it feels effortless - as if the left and right brains are harmoniously dancing together - I sometimes have songs that come through in their entirety in a matter of minutes. The work, if we can call it that, is to get into the space of inner clarity, connection and empowerment where the secret-sauce of inspiration can strike and ignite my creative fires. I’m clear that I’m not in control of the the process - I just do my best to show of with openness and curiosity and let the heart guide in the rest. That said - the “left brain” is definitely put to good use in the often excruciating refinement process…just because a whole song can come through in a matter of minutes doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some solid refinement! Great thanks go to my beloved for all her help with that process for “Rise Of The New Earth”:)

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

Kosmic T: I am a dedicated student of the Pachakuti Mesa tradition - a peruvian wisdom tradition rooted in deep reverence for the earth and all life. A life-line practice for me throughout these wild times has been spending some quality time seated at my mesa (altar) and entering into a state of energetic communion and prayer. The Pachakuti Mesa tradition, beyond being a big inspiration for my last album, has blessed my life with many practical practices and tools, and although it doesn’t feel like the time or place to go into them here, if your curious you can learn more about this beauty way on their website: https://heartofthehealer.org/

I also believe regular walks in nature are one of the best spiritual practices anyone could hope for. I often enjoy finding a stream to rest by and listen, or an old cedar tree to lean against and just “be”. I never feel more at home or at peace than I do nestled somewhere deep in a forest. I also practice regular pauses throughout my day to interrupt my busy-body tendencies - be it for a moment or several minutes, this allows me to breath more presence and spaciousness into my day resulting in greater flow, productivity and coherence.

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

Kosmic T: I’d like to become a little gentler with myself in 2022. I know for many of us on a “spiritual path” there can be a tendency to overanalyze, push, and be more than a little judgmental. I find the medicine of gentleness to be one of the most powerful there is - and in an often overstimulated, overloaded, over-stretched world a little gentleness, a little kindness, can go a long way.

Dannika (Gaia): Tell us more other products or services you offer...

Kosmic T: I’m also an outdoor nature educator and have had the great honour and pleasure of working with many children, teens and families in our community. If you are interested in learning more about the programs I offer you can email me at: officialkosmict@gmail.com (I have programs running for boys ages 7-10, 14-17, and mixed groups for ages 4-7).

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

Kosmic T: My tunes can be found on all the major platforms (bandcamp, spotify, youtube, soundcloud, itunes, etc) and my website is definitely the best place to stay up to date with the new projects I’m working on: https://kosmict.com/

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

Kosmic T: Some good ol buffalo sage, Alana Fairchild’s Rumi tarot deck (the best!), a copy of “The Gene Keys” (masterpiece), a surprise gift for a friend, maybe a shiny crystal or two and, of course, have to cop a classic copy of Kosmic T 😉

'Seeds of Light' & 'Rise of the new Earth' are both available at Gaia Rising on CD.... right CDs still exist? I know!

   TaninTanin

Kosmic T and Dannika will be hosting an Instagram Live this month! Date and time is yet to be determined but we will make sure to follow up with all of you so you can book the date :D Please make sure you follow us on Instagram @gaia_rising_metaphysical to ensure you don't miss our Kosmic-Tea! ☕

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Maasa, where creation and inspiration abound.

Posted on December 13, 2021 by laureen barker

Maasa is wonderful local artist whose passion clearly comes through her art. In our interview with Maasa, she opens up about her paintings, where her inspiration comes from and her personal healing journey.

Maasa Cards Maasa cards

We carry her prints & lovely cards which make great holiday gifts!

Read our interview with Maasa below!

Gaia: Maasa, tell us a bit about your background! 
Maasa: I was born and raised in Japan until I was 12 yrs old then we immigrated to Victoria, B.C and became Canadian residents. My mom is Japanese and my Da is a Scot born in Aberdeen. 
Gaia: When did you start making art? 
Maasa: My mother is very artistic. She used to paint and she also carved gorgeous buddha figures out of wood. My Da is very creative in how he approaches life in general so it's definitely in my DNA to fuse my inspiration with creation.  Growing up, we were only allowed to watch TV on weekends so I dove into art to keep myself occupied from a young age.   
Gaia: What mediums do you use for making your paintings? 
Maasa: I'm starting to explore other mediums like water-colour as of late but I primarily work with acrylic on canvas.
                    Maasa painting
Gaia: What inspires your paintings? 
Maasa: Not knowing what will emerge from the canvas and trusting the process inspires me. I took a long break from painting while I grew my business Santosha Spa. In 2019 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and then Covid hit. I took my diagnosis as a major wake up call to change my life trajectory. I let my business go and I embarked on a remarkable healing journey. I discovered the process of Intentional Creativity during that time and it has become a cornerstone to my healing and it still is today. I used to be a chronic planner in my creative process- needing to know what I was painting and how I was going to do it. That was how I basically approached my life before cancer. I used to always look ahead, plan and get it done. Now, that has changed because I was missing so much by being so focused on paving my path forward. I've slowed right down and become so much more present in what's happening in the now. That is how I now approach my painting process. Layer by layer- expressing what is coming up for me in the moment with feeling, colours and symbols. Eventually a form starts to appear, then ideas around it emerge. That is when I start to get really excited...when I can see the medicine in my own painting. It's like the essence of who I am comes through the portal of my canvas and it's an awesome revealing! I'm writing a blog about my healing journey at www.lessonsfrommylump.com 
   Maasa profile
Gaia: Any new projects you are working on that you care to share about? 
Maasa: I've been commissioned to create a deck of oracle cards to be published in Japan which is really exciting and also challenging to have guidelines to work with. I'm looking it as an opportunity to discover new gems along the way even though I feel a little bit of constraint to stick to particular images . There's a timeline to create about 50 representations so I've taken up watercolour to get it all done in time. It's not how I've been working so I'm approaching it with curiosity and trust. I'm having fun with it so far!
                     Maasa painting
Check out Maasa's website here: http://www.maasaisis.com/

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