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Clean Spaces to Invoke the Compassionate Spirits

With the recent legalization of marijuana in the state of Washington and the huge influx of new memes about its presence in everyday culture, I feel the need to clarify the space I am trying to create with Turtle Spirit Jam. This is a very difficult letter for me to write, as I love you all so very much - so please bear with me a little bit.

There are many ways to commune with spirit.. and what I am offering is very specific.

People come from many paths to share in this experience: African drummers, Shamanic practitioners, seekers, Pagan, Buddhist, earth people, sky people, artists, musicians, off the street folk…you name it. Our circle is designed specifically to be one that is open to all that are drawn to it.

Many, many of us have suffered the consequences of drug abuse in our families, our loved ones and with ourselves. Many people are in recovery, on the road to recovery and/or still processing incredibly difficult emotional issues around these scenarios. You can certainly count me as one of these people.

The goal of Turtle Spirit Jam is to create a space where everyone feels welcome and emotionally/spiritually safe. If we are going to do that, then we need to keep drugs and alcohol out of our circle. If we don't, these people, who need this circle, will not come.


There are other, spiritual reasons for this as well.

As a trained shamanic practitioner, I am working with our hosts to offer powerful ceremonies to people who may not know anything about shamanism. The method used in my practice to enter profound ecstatic trance states is the repetitive rhythm of the drum. This my path, my calling, my 'medicine'. I am sharing a clean, dry space where we can all strike the earth together, feel the sky and experience what happens when we invoke their energies with our strong intention and prayers.

This method of invoking spirit is so powerful that there is no room for elements of the circle to be ungrounded. In my own training I have seen unbelievable repercussions from the power of invocation. Rippling shock waves of power. Life-changing energetic shifts. It is a special medicine that I want to share with you.

It is through grounding that the mystery of expansion comes. This is Shamanism. We may get really far out there but it comes from an initiatory space of groundedness.

If someone has a transformative, healing experience and releases unhealthy energies that they no longer need, we want these energies to be grounded and transformed as well through our music and connection to the compassionate spirits. If someone is in an altered state induced by substances when this sort of thing is going on, they are not necessarily in control of whether their field is open or closed. They are also more likely to drift off into a space where the rest of us are not functioning. Without significant training and/or elder support, they may be more at risk of accepting harmful energies into their body. They might be somewhere doing something...but no longer connected with our song.

You might consider taking this further, especially for the deeper ceremonies we do. You might consider staying clear for the whole night, even after the event. There is a delicious cellular story that unfolds after a deep ritual and slowly traces itself throughout our bodies. It takes time for this to happen, as the power of the ritual makes it's impact first. It's almost as if we need to be whomped a bit in order to be rendered open for the light healing to come through us. We invest, we move, we are moved, and then we rest, digest and feels ourselves organically changing. Sometimes there is a spiritual or emotional dismemberment that has occurred… and a reintegration that needs to happen. This process can take a day or two.. or a week or longer, depending upon the magnitude of the healing. This delicate time is a crucial one to self-care, keep clear and grounded…or at least be thinking of ground as we come closer to it…or it can become convoluted, buried or even reversed.

A note for spiritual practitioners: this is not an advanced circle. It is meant to be open for anyone to participate. Therefore we do not engage in advanced spiritual practices that may be emotionally or spiritually unsafe for any one person in the community. I care too much about all of you to promote structures that I do not feel wholly good about.

much love,


**If you are struggling with Marijuana addiction or just think you need support in not partaking so much, there are some great resources here:

International Marijuana Anonymous meeting listings
Western Washington Marijuna Anonymous

Try a meeting. It might change your life.

Gratitude + Love = Cycle of Life

Prayer = Intent + Being.






How to Play with Turtles