Author Archives: JoAnne Dodgson

Spirit of Chocolate ♥️ my new book!

Spirit of Chocolate ♥️ my new book!

SPIRIT OF CHOCOLATE: A Woman’s Journey to the Rainforest in Search of Her Dreams

Spirit of Chocolate is a truly enchanting story…this book is a true gem!” – Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval and Walking in Light

Spirit of Chocolate is a beautiful reminder of the sacredness in all things. From the opening words JoAnne Dodgson pulls you into a sacred journey that calls to your own heart.” – Rosalee de la Forêt, author of Alchemy of Herbs

Spirit of Chocolate is a lucid dream of vibrant color, magic and wisdom. Enter it, taste it and succumb to its alchemy.” – James O’Dea, author of The Conscious Activist


Spirit of Chocolate was inspired over ten years ago. Spending afternoons in a chocolate shop, writing stories and sipping spicy elixirs, ignited my passion for the heart-opening medicines of cacao (ka-KOW). I was compelled to learn more about the ancient traditions surrounding this sacred food. I was enchanted by the cacao tree and the seeds from which chocolate is made.

For years, the vision for this book has been held close in my heart, embraced by friends, and honored in ceremonial ways. The story has been simmering, shifting, deepening over time, and finally is ready to be shared.

Spirit of Chocolate weaves together many passions in my life – my love for stories, for our Mother Earth, for ancestral traditions, for dreaming new dreams, and for personal healing that transforms our lives and our world.

I invite you to join me in this journey through the rainforest. Flourish in the beauty of the tree frogs, the mystery of the jaguar, the passion of Thea’s spiritual quest, the wisdom of the Old Woman, and the gifts shared so generously by Ka`Kao.

May Spirit of Chocolate carry you home to your heart and to the awakening of harmony in your life and on our earth.

Order Spirit of Chocolate here! ♥️ I’m so excited to share the story with you.

Manaole U Manaole,
from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart,

Gifts of Gratitude

Gifts of Gratitude

These sacred bundles of corn are being shared with gratitude for your presence in my life.

May the medicines of Grandmother Corn ~ her nourishment and abundance ~ touch your heart and ripple out beyond into our world.

Manaole U Manaole, from my heart to the heart of the mother earth to your heart,


How Can We Heal?

How Can We Heal?

When things are falling apart, when there’s so much harm, so many wounds, how can we heal?

Where do we begin?

Many people are feeling powerless and overwhelmed,
losing sight of their dreams for healing and change.

Here is guidance from the spirits to help us find our way…


How Can We Heal? (part 1) from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

How Can We Heal? (part 2) from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

How Can We Heal? (part 3) from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

She Got Her Spirit Back

She Got Her Spirit Back

She slipped out beyond the fence. It was my mistake, leaving the gate open, something I never do. Perhaps it wasn’t such a big mistake after all, depending on your point of view.

Luna, my four-legged friend, has been on a rest-period for a week to heal the muscle strain in her leg. Everyday since she was a puppy, we’ve gone out on the land where she can run free. Asking Luna not to play or chase rabbits or dig into gopher holes or track the trails of the people and dogs she wants to meet is like asking a bird not to fly, a fish not to swim.

Though I knew this was against doctor’s orders, I have to admit I was glad Luna got out to play. Eventually she came back home, tail wagging, telling me all about her adventures. The light in her eyes, the exuberance radiating through her body, was beautiful. She felt so very alive.

“You got your spirit back,” I said, giving her a belly rub. I celebrated, too, the pure instinctive expression of Luna being who she is and doing what she naturally loves to do. Her joy touched my heart. I felt happy too.

I wondered who else she’d touched along the way of her wild excursion. I wondered how her loving presence on the earth rippled out beyond, weaving aliveness and passion and love and play into the web of life.

A little while later, I slipped out the gate too. We’ve been housebound a couple days due to the rainstorms that have flooded our rural dirt road. I slowly navigated around the rocks and over the bumps, following the new twists and turns the rushing waters had made. When I made it to the pavement, I turned left and headed to the mountains, beckoned by the big blue skies, fresh air, and sweet adventure of the wide-open road.

Luna’s medicine – the embodiment of love – stayed with me on my journey. I want to live this way too: letting love and acceptance fill every cell of my being and naturally radiate out, touching everyone and everything. No exclusions. No exceptions. No walls.

That doesn’t mean I agree with or condone or want more of something to happen. Being loving and accepting means observing with clear eyes, seeing what is just as it is, without judgments, shoulds, and supposed-tos clouding my view.

Being loving and accepting means expanding my mind and my heart, holding a wide-open field of respect and acceptance for the existence of everyone and everything, here and now.

This way of being doesn’t hold things in place and make them continue or force them to stay the same. Rather there’s room now for change, movement, and flow. New possibilities and potentials now can be seen, created, shared, and brought to life.

Building more walls, hating more people, harming more of our earth isn’t getting us anywhere new.

So what’s one thing you can do today to open your heart, see from another point of view, expand the circle of who and what you consider worthy of acceptance and love?

What can you do today to call your spirit back – to feel your aliveness, your connectedness, your wholeness, your peacefulness, your playfulness, your joy?

This is how we weave a more loving world, fiber by fiber, minute by minute, step by step.




Grandmother Corn

Grandmother Corn

She came on the waters, traveling many miles and many moons on a wooden raft bound with sinew and vines. Attentive to every sound, sight and smell, she searched along the shore for signs of the villages she’d seen in her dreams.

Grandmother knew the people were hungry. She’d seen the rippling effects of their fears. Guided by her visions, she followed the currents of the wild waters, carrying bundles of ancient medicines for those calling to her.

Drawn to the laughter bubbling up from beneath a canopy of trees, she came upon a group of children playing where the river meets the land. Grandmother drifted into the cove, chanting her Greeting Song. With wide-eyed curiosity, the children waded into the waters, giggling and holding each other’s hands. The children pulled the raft into shore, staring at the old woman who’d come from Upriver. Her long silvery hair, wrinkled dark skin, and green eyes shining like stars – the old woman was unlike anyone they’d ever seen.

The old woman and the young ones were soon playing together like long-lost friends, splashing in the waters, painting their faces with mud. The children drank in the grandmother’s love as if they were famished. They breathed in her joy, filling themselves up. They devoured her stories and songs.

When the sun began to soften the late afternoon sky, Grandmother waded into the river, listening to the currents pulling at her feet. She gathered up a bundle from the raft, her every move followed by a circle of curious young eyes.

Sitting on a boulder, the old woman cradled an emerald green turtle shell in her lap. The children gathered around, trying to get a closer look. Humming softly, the grandmother lifted up layers of furs to reveal a mound of woven pouches tied with ribbons of vine tucked inside the bowl of the turtle shell.

Grandmother handed every child a pouch. She told them stories about the sacred bundles of corn they held in their hands. The children listened intently to the instructions for planting. Grandmother taught them the old ways of blessing the soil, of calling in the sun and the rains, of making offerings to the spirit of the corn.

The children danced in celebration, feeling the abundance take root and come alive inside their own knowing. With the gifts of the corn, they would always be fed – all the people, all the land, would forever be fed. With Grandmother’s corn, even their dreams would have space to grow. No more empty bellies and hungry hearts.

Gently holding the pouches, the children ran back to the village and exuberantly shared all they had learned. Doubts and suspicion instantly erupted. Fears infiltrated the village, rolling like shockwaves through every dwelling on the land. The children were scolded for being gullible, for speaking nonsense, for telling lies. They were reprimanded for breaking the rules and talking to an Outsider. They were punished for carrying something so dangerous in their hands.

The village leader demanded that all the pouches be collected. Everyone in the village was required to watch as the corn bundles, one by one, were thrown into the fire and the children, one by one, were threatened into silence. The corn was never to be spoken of again. There was not to be another word, not even a whisper, about the old woman who came from Upriver. None of that was real. It never even happened. It was simply to be forgotten. That’s what the children were told.

Grandmother heard it all in the winds and knew the time had come to continue on her way, though she’d keep watching over the village for many generations to come. She drifted downriver, moving farther out from land, until she heard someone humming beneath the canopy of trees. Drawn back by the song, Grandmother floated into the secluded cove.

There was Wakena, a child from the village, barefoot in the rippling waters, digging a hole in the mud. Sensing somebody’s presence, Wakena glanced over her shoulder, fearful she’d been discovered in this now forbidden place. Seeing the old woman on the raft, Wakena took a deep breath, her body flooded with relief and delight. A greeting passed silently between the old woman and the girl, the warmth of their welcoming held quiet inside the instinctual protection of the unexpected crossing of their paths.

Wakena reached into her basket and waded in the river toward the raft, her arms outstretched, carrying something for Grandmother to see. Nestled in the girl’s small muddy hands was a bundle of corn, still wrapped in the colorful weaving and tied with a vine. The eyes of the elder and the eyes of the young one met in a steadfast embrace. Their deeply-felt trust, the alliance of their ageless wisdoms, held the sacred promise of the remembering to come.

With Grandmother watching over, Wakena walked back to shore to finish her digging in the place where the river meets the land. She set the corn pouch deep in the muddy hole, burying the bundle beneath handfuls of pebbles and leaves. She filled in the hole and patted down the mud, securing the corn’s safekeeping.

Wakena pressed both hands palm-down into the clay, leaving her print, sealing her agreement. She leaned in close, her nose touching the wet earth, whispering her promise to never forget, to someday return, to always remember the grandmother’s corn.

Wakena walked up the path toward the village, turning back just once to wave a muddy-handed farewell to the old woman.

Grandmother continued her journey along the wild currents of the river, carrying bundles of ancient medicines, seeking those calling to her.

Equinox Ceremony

Equinox Ceremony

Throwing of the Bones Ceremony for the Equinox

Here is the question presented to the spirits:

What are the gifts the Equinox offers us to learn about creating balance in our personal lives and on our earth?

Listen and feel with all of your senses to receive the doctoring and guidance from the spirits.

And there’s a special guest appearance from my four-legged friend, Lily, who added her feline wisdom to the ceremony!


Equinox:Part1 from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Equinox:Part2 from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Equinox:Part3 from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Equinox:Part4 from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Unleashing Love

A Gift For You!

A Gift For You!

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