Author Archives: JoAnne Dodgson

See in the Dark

See in the Dark

The New Moon this weekend invites us to touch the darkness. When there’s no moonlight, the countless stars and our galaxy, the expansive beauty and awe, are all the more available to our human eyes. In the deep darkness of the night skies, we can see so much life.

Darkness is ready to be embraced. Not the “dark = bad, light = good” kind of darkness this is flavored with judgment and disconnection. To be rooted in our wholeness, remembering all of who we really are, to join up with the dance of life rather than resisting and fighting against, it’s vital to get to know the darkness. The dark is organic, essential. Life on our earth is so exquisitely designed.

Words have an effect, filled with nuances and energy, rippling through and far beyond the person who speaks. Judgments and fear are set in motion with “dark = bad, light = good.” This idea feeds racist beliefs which rank humans as better or less, loveable or not, based on the color of skin. With good/bad, either/or ways of thinking, we tear apart the web of life and generate hierarchies which devalue and disrespect.

Re-writing language helps us to see differently. And when we see with open eyes and hearts, changes in our language will reflect this too. Words can purposefully be used as medicine that untangles us from labels, opens possibilities, seeks understanding, and nourishes connection. Words as medicine name without judging and knit together what’s been broken apart.

The beauty of the moon called me into the dark of the night. I had to find my way beyond the haunting fears from childhood ghost stories, scary movies, and the social mandate that women shouldn’t be out alone at night. Women have been given a collective curfew which actually doesn’t ensure safety. Atrocities and threats take place in broad daylight. The idea that darkness is the danger is a lie.

So I listened to the nighttime calls of Great Horned Owls, Crickets, and Coyotes. I followed the moon on road trips and while camping in the red rock mesas. I fell in love with New Moon, the deep darkness of the new beginnings, compelling me to explore the gifts of visioning and dreams. In cultivating relationships with the earth and moon and natural cycles, with the wild ones who sing in the night, I began to feel more at home, finding a sense of belonging on the earth as a human in the web of life.

It may not be nighttime that is the organic darkness that calls to you. Perhaps it’s the soils of the earth where seeds are planted and roots grow. Or the womb space of mothers and birthers. Or the depths of the ocean. Or the mysteries of sleep. Or bear caves. Or beehives. Or the underground homes of prairie dogs and ants.

Follow your curiosity, the callings of your wonder. Open the door and set off on a quest, exploring the beauty and magic of the dark.

Medicine for the New Year

Medicine for the New Year


Weaving the Webs of Life

Spider lives with unshakeable clarity that she has what she needs to build what she wants when the guidance from within and the rhythms of the earth indicate that it is time.

Hear more about Spider Medicine as we make our transitions into a new year…


For Personal Healing & Guidance:

Throwing of the Bones Ceremony

Medicine Card Reading

Medicine for the New Moon

Medicine for the New Moon

Deer Medicine

Guidance for December 26th New Moon

The New Moon is the opening into a new cycle, a powerful time to set intentions, to vision and dream. Our December New Moon closely follows the Solstice, the shifting into a new season on our earth. During this New Moon, we’ll have an eclipse which heightens the energy of the new beginning. And our December New Moon is the initiation of the lunar cycle that carries us into the new calendar year 2020. Such an empowering time to reflect on where we’ve been, to clarify what we really want, and to choose the direction we’re heading in our personal lives and collectively on our earth.

Enjoy listening to learn more about Deer Medicine as we enter these new beginnings…



For Personal Healing & Guidance: Throwing of the Bones Ceremony


Solstice: A Place of Connection

Solstice: A Place of Connection

Solstice is a natural shifting of the seasons, a fertile turning of the times, which we all are a part of. Each and every one of us is joined in this transition whether we are human, tree, whale, butterfly, river, bear, or starfish.

In many contemporary societies and our rush-around world, the honoring of Solstice has gone underground. Yet in diverse cultures on various continents, there are ancient sites constructed with great care and precision to mark the Solstice. Our connection with the dance of our earth and sun has long been something we’ve felt, celebrated, and revered.

We can remember and flourish in our connection with the Solstice:

☀️Find out the date and time for the seasonal shifting in the place where you live or will be December 21-22. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re moving into the heart of wintertime. In the Southern Hemisphere, we’re moving into the heart of summer. Feel into the diversity of natural cycles unfolding among plants and animals, lands and waters, humans in diverse places, our earth, moon and the stars, migrating birds, insects, and ocean-dwellers. Notice what is happening within and around you. Use all of your senses to gather information. Observe with curiosity. What are you noticing that you haven’t noticed before? What awakens awe and wonder? Who and what do you want to learn more about?

☀️Notice how you feel physically, emotionally, and energetically during the days leading up to and following the Solstice. Transitions are a passage through a doorway of change. As you stand on the threshold, what do you want to leave behind? Are you ready to walk through the doorway of change into the mystery, the unknowns and the new? What are you seeking and heading toward? What is it like in the in-betweens?

☀️Create a ceremony. Heart-centered. Purposeful. Filled with your attention. You may sit quietly on the earth or go for a walk in a new place to explore. Build a fire to honor the returning of more daylight in the Winter Solstice. Share a meal to welcome the bounty of the harvest in the Summer Solstice. Create a letting go ceremony to clear away, physically and emotionally, what you want to leave behind. Have a visioning ceremony to plant the seeds of your dreams. What do you want for your life, for the earth, for all life?

When the gifts of the Solstice are felt and shared, your body, heart and spirit, the steps in your unique path, and the remembering of your belonging in the web of life become the sacred spaces, the sacred sites, which mark the fertile turning of the times.

Grandmother Tree

Grandmother Tree

She hiked along the deer trail, looking forward to seeing her old friend. High on the mountain ridge, Jessie sat down among the tree’s gnarled roots winding serpent-like through the red clay and rocks. She leaned back against the peeling bark of the juniper’s trunk, nestling into the welcoming embrace of the ancient tree. Jessie closed her eyes, soaking up the warmth of the sun as her mind wandered off into the events of the past week.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve seen you.” The juniper tree’s voice called Jessie back from her hazy rehashing of days gone by.

“I’ve been so busy,” Jessie explained, “running around getting ready for the holidays. I’m exhausted and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.”

“Set aside your worries,” said the old tree. “Thanks Giving is already here. You’ll see. Just take a look around.”

Jessie looked out toward the western horizon, noticing a deer grazing in the meadow, listening to the ravens cackle and caw. She really wasn’t sure what she was supposed to be looking for. “You celebrate Thanksgiving out here?” she finally asked.

“Always have. Always will,” replied the old tree. “Every day, as a matter of fact. Gift giving and receiving. Thanks giving and receiving. It’s all here in the circle of life.”

“Well, where I come from,” said the woman to the tree, “the giving of gifts and the giving of thanks are scheduled holiday events.” The woman leaned in closer, lowering her voice to reveal a long-held secret. “And the funny thing is, everybody seems pretty stressed.”

“Take a deep breath,” invited the tree. “And take another look around. This time, listen with every cell of your body. Feel with the eyes of your heart.”

Jessie sighed and leaned back into the juniper’s trunk. She gently touched the ground, feeling the warmth of the sun held in the soil and emanating from the rocks. She watched a flock of speckled birds fly from tree to tree feasting on plump juniper berries. Jessie heard the tree’s whispers floating by on the winds.

Giving and receiving are vibrant rivers of energy,                         
open and flowing and circling around from one to another and back.
Unconditional giving. Not an ounce of hesitation.
Boundless receiving. Welcoming the gifts.
Sifting through what is not needed.
Shedding what no longer belongs.
Filling and flowing with gratitude and love.
That’s how we weave the web of life.

Jessie sat quietly, pondering awhile. Then she turned to face the juniper tree. “That seems so easy out here,” the woman confided, “with you and the birds and the sun and blue sky. But do you really think people can do this?”

The woman felt a sudden underground tremor. The powerful quaking moved through the juniper’s roots and up through the branches which shivered and shook, showering the woman with needles and berries.

“People can do this!” the tree chuckled. “You’re part of the web of life.”

“Oh, yeah,” Jessie smiled, “I almost forgot.”

Rooted deep in the earth and warmed by the sun, the woman and the tree soaked in the beauty of the sharing of their joy.

When the sunset painted the sky purple and red, Jessie knew it was time to hike down the deer trail and back over the mountain ridge. She stood up and brushed spiky green needles from her hair and blue juniper berries from her lap, sharing with the earth the nourishments given by the elder tree.

Reaching into her woven bag, Jessie found the handful of shimmery pebbles she’d collected earlier that day. She gently placed the stones on the gnarled roots of the ancient tree before continuing on her way.

Vast as a Star

Vast as a Star

Everything is alive.
Everyone has a unique Song.
Every tree, every rock, every tiny grain of sand.
Each human, animal, plant, bird, bug, river, and fish.
Everyone’s Song radiates far beyond the physical body.

You are as vast as a star.

Every Song is connected in the web of life.
The web of life is interactive, dynamic, always changing.
Everyone’s presence, choices and actions affect the whole.
No failures, winners or losers, punishments or rewards.
Fighting, among humans, is highly over-rated.
The Universe doesn’t keep score.

We are always, energetically, touching others in the web.
Recognizing, interacting, sharing, choosing, communicating, creating, learning, discovering, expressing.

Life is a symphony, a wild, always in motion, curious, diverse, intricate, intimate, harmony-seeking dance.

Your Song is as vast as a star.
So is the Song of everybody else.
Every tree, rock, river, snake, spider, and grain of sand.
Every whale, coyote, human, sagebrush, hawk, and butterfly.

Your Song holds this remembering, seeing with the eyes of the heart.



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.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required