Author Archives: JoAnne Dodgson

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.

Spider Medicine

Spider Medicine

How do we stay steady, find our balance, feel loving, when we witness and experience harm, turbulence, challenges and change?

How do we birth a new world and reach into the potentials of our awakening hearts that so many describe as the calling of these times?

Here’s a story, a memory, that I often turn while finding my way through the passages of transitions and change:

During sunset for a few evenings, I’d been watching a long-legged spider weave huge spiral webs from the wooden beams of the porch roof all the way to the shrubs and grasses far below. One night when I slept outside in a hammock, I had an unexpected awakening just before dawn.

Early the next morning, as the sun began to rise, I was abruptly awakened out of my dreams. There at eye-level, right in front of my face, was the long-legged spider looking back at me as she floated in the air on an invisible thread. How had this silent creature so boisterously called me out from my sleep? What was it she wanted me to see?

The spider dangled in front of me just long enough to be sure I was awake enough to see what was about to unfold right before my eyes. Then the spider crawled up the invisible thread and somersaulted into her web. Glistening fibers broke apart. Delicate threads came undone. The elaborate spiral imploded as the bottom half of the web collapsed in on itself.

I watched with wide-eyed amazement as the spider deliberately dismantled the rest of her web, unraveling her weaving, unknitting the spiral, deliberately taking apart the exquisite tapestry she’d meticulously created just hours before. Then she crawled away into the rafters, retreating into the shadowy crevices between the wooden beams and peeling bark.

The long-legged spider didn’t only weave webs. She also took them apart. She lived with unshakeable knowing that she had what was needed to weave the web for her life whenever the guidance from within and the cycles of the earth indicated it was time.

So what if we perceived everything going on in our lives, in others’ lives, and globally in our world as having something to do with weaving and unweaving, with the dance of endings and beginnings, with the dying away and the birthing of the new?

What if we offered our energy and time, like the spider taking her web apart, to purposefully un-do from and freely let go of what has served it’s purpose and is no longer needed now?

What if we could stay present, lovingly, respectfully, with the process of the un-doing, with the death and letting go, with the changes in what has been? Can we allow for the messiness alongside the beauty, the transformations, the connectedness, the magic?

Hand in hand with any death, with any ending or completion of a cycle, there are new beginnings and birthings organically in process too.

What if we gave our energy and time, like a midwife, to nourish, support, honor, and stay present with all that is finding it’s way into existence? Can we allow space for the messiness of the birthing ~ along with the beauty, mystery and magic of who and what is coming to life?

We can be midwives for birth and for death too. These are sacred passages for everyone and everything involved.

Like Spider, we too can weave and unweave and reweave the web of our lives, fiber by fiber, moment by moment, day after day, co-creating and connecting, with every step and every breath we take.

Love is the energizing elixir of the universe, the cause and effect of all harmonies. ~ Rumi

All the Way Down to Our Toes

All the Way Down to Our Toes

“…the really wonderful task of humans is to bring cosmic love all the way down to our toes. To ground it, not just intellectually, and not even to the heart level, but all the way down to our toes. To bring cosmic love to Earth, fully embodied.” – Elisabet Sahtouris

What would it be like to accomplish this wonderful task, minute by minute, throughout every day? Can you imagine embodying Love, living in Love, letting Love flow all the way down to your fingertips and toes? Give it a try, just now, wherever you are.

This is the natural way of being a human being: embodying love with every breath and every step we take.

How could we forget such a beautiful thing?

While you’re going about grounding this vast cosmic love, it’s important to remember that love doesn’t just exist somewhere out there. It’s not only found in the faraway galaxies. It’s not only shared by the trees, flowers, four-leggeds, and winged ones. Love doesn’t flow in only one direction, from head to toe, from the cosmos to Earth.

Love lives inside each and every one of us, including you and me, and spirals around in all directions, and radiates out like a star. This is how we naturally weave relationships with everyone and everything, the seen and unseen, those nearby and far beyond ~ giving and receiving, embodying and being, the infinite flow of love.

Loving from the inside out.

Loving from the outside in.

Rivers of love flowing

from the heart of the galaxy

to the heart of the sun

to your heart

to the heart of the earth

and back

in every moment.

This is our natural way of being as human beings. Centered in who we really are. Accepting all that is, just as it is. Letting love radiate out from the very cells of our being. Sensing and receiving the love that fills the world around us. Living in love with life itself.

How could we have forgotten such a beautiful thing?

It’s time for the remembering.




Gifts of the Eclipses

Gifts of the Eclipses

Here are some gems from a Bone Throwing Ceremony about the August eclipses, the medicine of these magical times, the gifts being offered for our lives.

As you watch the videos, listen and feel with all of your senses

to receive the guidance, connect with the Spirits,

and touch the vast, beautiful potentials being described

for your life, for humanity, for our earth, for all life.



Gifts of the Eclipses (Part 1) ~ Throwing of the Bones Ceremony from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Gifts of Eclipses (Part 2) – Throwing of the Bones Ceremony from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Gifts of Eclipses (Part 3) – Throwing of the Bones Ceremony from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Gifts of Eclipses (Part 4) ~ Throwing of the Bones Ceremony from JoAnne Dodgson on Vimeo.

Unleashing Love

A Gift For You!

A Gift For You!

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