Author Archives: JoAnne Dodgson

Manifesting: It’s a Mutual Thing

Manifesting: It’s a Mutual Thing

My bundle of sage was dwindling. This particular sage plant offers medicines for smudging ceremonies. I’ve heard this plant called Indian Sage, Buffalo Sage, Dakota Sage, but the sages labeled with these names in herb stores were not the plant I was looking for.

To find a place to wildharvest the sage and replenish my herb bundle became a passionate quest. The lands near my home in New Mexico were abundant with desert sagebrush, an intriguing yet distinctly different plant. So my search ended up taking me across state lines into the mountains of southern Colorado. Intuitively I headed toward an ancient rock formation which holds stories of indigenous peoples who lived there in centuries past. I felt I’d find sage in the wilderness lands surrounding the sacred site.

Walking among the towering pines, I shared a gift offering with the land and spirits to request their help in finding and harvesting the plant. I’m looking for Sage became a silent chant, a drumbeat setting the rhythm for my explorations around the land.

I found feathers. I listened to the ravens call and watched turkey vultures coast high in the winds. I shared quiet companionship with rabbits and deer. I welcomed the sight of the ancient crumbling rocks, feeling embraced by the presence of my old friends. But Sage was nowhere to be found.

Late in the afternoon, beginning the hike back to my car, my mind got consumed by distracting chatter. Had I come all this way only to return home empty-handed? I should have talked with an expert who really knows about plants. Am I just wandering around following my heart, aimlessly getting off-track?

Slowed by depleting tugs of doubt and disappointment, I stopped and stood still in the middle of the path. I breathed in the pines. I felt the earth beneath my feet. I remembered what I had come there to do.

“I’m searching for Sage,” I explained to the trees. I took a few steps into the meadow. “And Sage is searching for me,” I said, playing around.

I loved the feeling of this new possibility: I’m looking for Sage and Sage is looking for me. Instinctively we now were joined in the hunt, both seeking and searching, reaching out to meet up.

I walked on through the meadow, moving in rhythm with renewed curiosity and intent. Something lying on the ground near a tree caught my attention – a collection of bones bleached white by the sun and nestled in the earth. I leaned in to take a closer look.

And there by my foot was a sage plant, graceful stems of tiny mint-green leaves reaching out in all directions, soaking up the sun. I glanced around and discovered yet another plant and then a whole cluster and then even more. Sage plants were flourishing in the meadow. How had I not seen them before? We crossed paths in the closing steps of my journey, coming full circle, not far from where I’d started my search.

Sage taught me something essential about manifesting: It’s a mutual thing. It’s embodied in connection. What we seek we will find when we know (without a doubt) that it too is seeking us – be it a plant or a friend or abundance or love. Manifesting is a birthing, a calling-into-existence, an intimate weaving of the choice and intent of everyone and everything involved.

Holding that Births

Holding that Births

Pythons have the ability to squeeze the breath of life away. And Pythons are one of the few snakes who stay with their eggs to nourish the birthing of new life.

Mama Python wraps her body around her eggs, holding so close that the imprint of her scales are left in the tender egg shells. Her python body creates a sacred circle of protection. The movement of her breathing and the warmth emanating through her skin nourish the transformations unfolding in the unseen realm inside the eggs.

Python guides us to take a closer look at the places we’re constricting ourselves, others, and life itself.

What are you holding back, shutting down, and stifling in your body, heart, emotions, and spirit? Are you squelching your own and others’ dreams?

How are you keeping life itself imprisoned with blindly-adopted beliefs and limited points of view?

What is not being given enough space to breath? Your creativity? The giving and receiving of love? Curiosity? The callings of your heart?

Mama Python shows us the gifts of holding that feeds and births new life.

See yourself as the Mama Python who creates a sacred birthing space. Claim the potentials for growth, change and manifestation that you are holding. Dreams for your life? Changes in health? Cultivating loving relationships? Nurturing your children, grandchildren, the earth, and the legacies you are leaving for the generations to come?

Are you willing to stay with and hold these potentials – remembering, watching over, feeding and nourishing until the birthing occurs? This is the medicine of Mama Python. She wraps herself around what she wants to grow. She stays with – holding, nourishing, protecting – not rushing or judging the process of change. She honors the innate wisdom in the flow of creation. She welcomes the emergence of new life.

See yourself in the center of the sacred circle of protection. Who and what nourish you in your process of growth and healing? Who are your midwives, the holders of sacred space? These may be other people, your own love for your own self, your non-human companions on the earth, and places and activities that generate a sacred space – so you can breath, find your way, expand all the more fully into who you really are, and bring to life what it is that you seek.

Python: One of the spirits who offers guidance in Throwing of the Bones Ceremony.

Python Medicine Card – Learn more here about Medicine Card Readings

& our Medicine Card Deck being birthed in collaboration with PattyMara Gourley.

Remembering Love

Remembering Love

What if no one, no thing, is deemed worthy of judgment?

What if no one is positioned as better-than and no one is less?

What if we humans stop considering ourselves as better, entitled, more valuable and deserving, than all our non-human companions and relatives on the earth?

These are the places we’ll have to awaken inside ourselves if we are going to be able to live, genuinely, with this thing called Love.

Love, in it’s natural flow, has no exceptions.

Love leaves no body out.

Love doesn’t shut off like a faucet and then open back up when the person or situation or conditions are deemed worthy.

Love isn’t situational.

Love isn’t episodic.

Love is the foundation of who we are and what life is made up of.

Love is a wide wide wide wide open expanse of energy.

Love respects the existence of what exists.

Love acknowledges and accepts what is and has been.

Love doesn’t condone violence, abuse or harm.

Love doesn’t generate more desecration.

Love generates healing.

Love is a weaver.

Love is alive in endings and beginnings, in birthings and dying-away, and all the in-betweens.

Loves observes with an expansive point of view.

Loves chooses with keen awareness.

Love doesn’t demand sameness.

Love reaches for understanding, cherishing and honoring diversity.

Love is discerning, aware of purpose in the making of choices.

Love becomes action from a deep rooting within.

Learning to love, again, in a world filled with hierarchies and disregard for life will take some doing. We will have to un-learn all the judgments we’ve learned. We will have to untangle from the habits of doing harm. We’ll have to un-learn the well-entrenched patterns of justifying our own judgments while condemning others who judge.

Love has to start somewhere for it to come back to life.

Love has to be re-birthed.

Love has to be re-membered.

Love needs to be felt in the heart and spirit of our humanness.

Love needs to be experienced in our bones.

Love will be re-woven in the fabric of our being.

Love will be held in the unshakeable knowing of who we are and our natural part in the web of life.

Take one step today, dream up one new possibility, for how to bring Love back to life.



Medicines of the Moon

Medicines of the Moon

What are your moon stories?

One of my cherished memories took place many years ago when I was on spring break during graduate school. I headed south out of the grey midwest cold to spend time in the Appalachian Mountains. Evening was settling in after a long day on the road. I still had many miles to go. I came upon a detour that directed me even deeper into the mountains along remote winding roads. The hillsides in every direction were saturated by Kudzu, a thick green vine covering the ground and wrapping around tree trunks and branches. I worried what would happen if my car went off the road. I’d be buried beneath the Kudzu, never to be seen again.

I came around a bend and the Full Moon suddenly appeared right in front of me. The moon looked to be rising out of the mountains, so closeby, I felt I could reach out my hand and touch her. The radiance of the moon filled the sky and lit up the landscape. Breathtaken by the beauty and delighted by the magic, my sense of adventure, curiosity and wonder instantly woke back up.

I continued on through the mountains for quite some time, a slow going journey along windy, switch-back roads. I’d turn away from the moonlight into the darkness. Then, curving around a bend, I’d meet up again with the Full Moon. A reunion with a long-lost friend. Then the road would carry me back into the dark of the night. Eventually, I’d meet up again with the moon.

The moon became my guardian. Someone was watching over and I felt less alone. My awareness was opening to the moon’s existence as a conscious presence, a living being, and of our inherent connection in the tapestry of life.

That night sparked an even deeper love affair with the moon. Over the decades since then, I’ve cultivated my connection with Luna with ceremony, art, and stories, with simply watching, listening, and learning. The moon is a powerful teacher about natural cycles. She’s a guide to the rhythms and cycles in my body, in our bodies, and in the flow of life on the earth. She’s a touchstone in the vast cosmos. She’s a teacher about the wild, interconnected dance with life.

What are your moon stories?

The Full Moon Eclipse happening this week offers a rich opportunity to connect with the medicines of the moon. Observe, feel, and listen. Notice when you cross paths with the moon. What is happening inside and around you?

Share your moon stories. Ask other people about their experiences. Open new conversations. Honor diverse discoveries.

Imagine what will happen when awe, wonder, beauty, and mystery fill us up, fill the spaces between us, and ripple far beyond.

New Moon Eclipse

New Moon Eclipse

Our New Moon Eclipse offers a powerful time to dream new dreams…for your life, for the earth, for all the generations to come.

Dream with passion, creativity, open eyes and open mind, claiming what lives in your heart.

Open the Door

Open the Door

We were in the midst of a discussion about cultivating relationships with the realm of the spirits. In a conference call with my current Apprenticeship Group, a student asked how to have more clear communication with ancestors and guides.

Often, as humans, we get weighted down by self-doubts. We have limited beliefs about what spirits’ presence and communication look like. We shut down our sensory awareness with fears, distractions, judgments, and busy-ness.

Before I could gather up the words to respond to the student’s question, the doorbell started ringing (and ringing and ringing!!) in her home. There was an abrupt thump as a bird flew into my kitchen window. My cat, Lily, meowed loudly from outside, insistently calling to be let in.

The seen and unseen offered a vivid response to the heartfelt desires for cultivating connection with the spirits, showing us how: Open the door! Let us in! We’re right here!

Our class erupted into laughter, delighting in the magic. The message couldn’t be any more clear.

The response we were given is helpful guidance for most anything we’re seeking. Set the intention. Claim the desire. Open the door. Reach toward, welcome in, and receive. Listen and feel with all of the senses to the obvious and the subtle, to the physical and energetic.

What are you seeking? Spend time with this question. Get to know your own heart’s desires.

And open the door. Step into the quest. A universe of extraordinary possibilities is ready and waiting to be explored.

Unleashing Love

A Gift For You!

A Gift For You!

Sign up for my newsletter and join me in creating a heart-centered world.   As a welcome gift I will send you a copy of my eBook Unleashing Love: Medicine Stories to Feed your Spirit and Awaken Your Heart.

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