Over the past several Christmases, Linda and I sent out small seasonal projects celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas. These took the form of a series of daily emails ending on Christmas Day, each with a pictorial example of a Manitoba church (2005, 2006) heritage house (2007) or grand old Winnipeg school (2008) along with a small write-up. The ideas sprang from our mutual interest in Manitoba heritage.
This year, with no Linda to inspire and celebrate with me, I have chosen something much more personal to share with you. Every day, starting Tuesday December 14 til Christmas Day, I will post a report of my personal experiences at an ancient sacred site in Manitoba or Saskatchewan. The series, called 12 Sacred Places, includes medicine wheels, animal effigies, ceremonial sites, sacred stones and vision quest sites I have visited since the mid 1990s. I returned to many of them this summer.
People are curious about this and have urged me over the past few years to share my experiences. This series is my sharing format. My reports will feature recent and past events at various sites from a shamanic perspective. Since 1994, I have practiced neo-shamanism, which I have adapted to my daily living. Exploring non-ordinary reality using trance, power animals and spirit helpers are part of my everyday life.
I also have a context for the reports. This past summer, purposefully and with powerful grief-healing intent, I drove the familiar process of grief over Linda’s death. This intentional processing used all the inner resources I have developed in the past 15 years, all the helpful spirits who abide at sacred places and who know me from past visits, and the enormous love of harmonic friends, organic and inorganic, fleshy and non-fleshy. All three of those elements appear in my reports. A formidable context!
The series flows from my own experience and will include pictures along with illustrations. While past series were picture-heavy with few words, this will be the opposite. Most of the places are difficult to capture with photographs, but I have tried to use interesting shots, mostly my own.
Since I report on inner psychic and subtle realities as well as physical reality, 12 Sacred Places will create a vast expanse of skepticism open for healthy habitation. I understand that and that’s fine. In accord, I need you to understand I am NOT trying to sell you anything, change anyone’s mind about any aspect of spirituality, encourage or discourage a specific form of being in the world. I am reporting. I am Witness.
If the series spurs you to visit any of these places, you will find my directions to them in the reports are purposely vague. I will gladly supply actual physical directions to them as needed. Just ask.
Bonus! Day Tripping. From seedy motels to surprise arboretums to ghost towns, each daily report will conclude with a shorter lighter feature on a non-sacred site I encountered over the summer while putting 27,000 kms on a couple of rented Avengers. You’ll be amazed and amused at what I found.
You can find the daily reports here on my brand new blog ReadReidRead starting Tuesday, December 14, 2010. I will be posting a new one every day until and including Christmas Day. Helpful background information about shamanism and sacred places can be found in FAQ.
In addition, every day the blog will feature one of the buildings from past years: 2005 Manitoba churches and 2007 heritage homes. One a day will be posted on the same 12-day schedule.
Enjoy 12 Sacred Places.