Categories
Indigenous Knowledge

Orange Shirt Day

Today is a day of remembrance for those who were affected by residential indian boarding schools. A day to give love to those little children taken from their families, some lost and some wounded for what seemed like forever. But today in a sea of orange, there is hope… as we call back to mind each of those beautiful souls, those who have suffered because of their differences, we can hold them in love and light, and let them shine their beautiful light to the world through us. Through our awareness, we can acknowledge and then take action in a new direction. In the direction we desire to see in the world.

Orange = Self Expression

When we hold space and bring awareness to a story, we have the opportunity to change the ending… to heal the past and create a beautiful future by sending the love now.

Growing up as a native american in Maryland I felt out of place because my bone structure was different from everyone else’s. My mom always told me that it was because I was native. I didn’t like it very much. My name was also different… Raine… I got made fun of often…. “Raine Raine go away and don’t come back.” My name was very native, or hippy. I didn’t always like it.

Going back to the reservation in North Dakota and visiting my cousins… life was so different for them then it was for me. We would usually visit during the summer for a week or so before driving back to Maryland. I would run in fields of wild grass, sweet grass and sage… never realizing how sacred it was. I would see life for the people on the reservation and feel many things, as they lived differently then I did. Living on the reservation wasn’t something I desired to do.

There was always one thing that stuck with me though… the sacred spiritual knowledge that I felt in my bones, deep down within my being….calling out to me to remember. I felt it when i danced in pow-wows.

When I was 12 I was honored with a naming ceremony….See my parents, even though they believed in religious teachings, always had an underlying connection to spirit in their lives. During my naming ceremony, our medicine woman shared that it was uncommon to be given the same name in ceremony that your parents named you. And that the creator told my mom to name me Raine Dawn because that was who I am… so my Anishinaabe name is Raining in the Dawn Woman.

After that experience, I began on a deep journey into spirituality (unknown to myself at the time, but looking back that is where it started) through Baptist, and Pentecostal religions… along with a deep connection to the holy spirit and feeling called to work with the youth, I started to really align who I was with who I am. Through attending a christian college to be a youth pastor, to going to Towson University to be an Art educator…. uncovering that deep connection to spirit that I felt within.

The path is so magickal and I feel so honored to be given the opportunity to be me, and share what I know and see with the world.

And all of this beautiful life because my grandmother and her grandmother and her grandmother made choices and took actions in ways that allowed me to flourish and become who I am today. Because my mother had a vision, to love her children and give them a life she never had… I am who I am today. I am grateful for the journey… as it reminds us we are all connected. <3

Categories
Indigenous Knowledge

South Africa – Art for Social Transformation

Johannesburg South Africa is the location of the 5th ARTIZEN Conference presented by the Teaching Artist Institute.

Incase you weren’t aware, I am Raining in the Dawn Woman of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa people. I am a spiritual leader and learner, intuitive, mother, artist, and art educator. I have been honored to share my journey and passion with the people of South Africa, and I could use your support.

This sacred journey of life has led me to learn many things and meet many people. The importance of our sacred journey is shown in the story of Anishinaabe, the original man, and his first responsibility. Great Mystery said to Anishinaabe “go and name all the things on the earth.” To name something is to form relationship with that thing. To acknowledge, observe, and share your journey with them as they have shared theirs with you.  This teaching helps us to recognize the importance of following our own paths and sharing our experiences with each other. When are aligned with our paths, our light shines bright and shines on others paths so that they might see themselves clearly.

Turtle Island to South Africa

I grew up in American, one generation out from being raised in a boarding school. My mother and her brothers and sisters attended boarding school, having their spiritual way of living taken from them. My parents raised three amazing daughters, while dealing with their own trauma, because they always instilled in us the importance of compassion. Love is what moves us, but we first must know and love ourselves.

I believe in the importance of sharing our journeys with one another, as this is how we remember that we are all connected. Now I can see how all that I have experienced and all the experiences of those who have come before me, has led me to connecting with the Great Mystery through art to help heal the trauma that we hold.

The arts enable us to express ourselves authentically with one another, in ways that surpass any language barrier. Art is a powerful tool, not just for gratification of self-expression, but as a vehicle of personal and collective transformation. Art is Prayer, a sacred and vital discovery of one’s own special presence in the world.  Through creation, a person illuminates and illustrates their inner being, while creating something which also stands separate. Through exploration and experimentation each of us can shine light on our inner world, allowing us to utilize expression as a means of awakening our Divine I Am.

Turtle Island to South Africa

I feel blessed to take knowledge from my journey on Turtle Island, to the Mother Land – Africa. To share the teachings of the Anishinaabe people, and shine light for others to know themselves more completely. Turtle Island is the North American continent. The turtle has deep meaning to the indigenous people, as is told in their creation stories.

Sharing the Indigenous teachings of the Anishinaabe with people of South Africa will form connections that remind us in a powerful way how we are all connected. I am certain that the teachings I learn in South Africa will be powerful for the people of Turtle Island to learn and grow on their paths in life.

Join me in supporting real change. Let’s support good in the world and make a difference. Help us create connections and pathways for healing and transformation through Indigenous arts around the world.

Categories
Art Class Most Popular Video

VR Project

VR stands for Virtual Reality. If you follow me, you know that I was awarded Educator of The Year last year and received a $500 donation towards a project for my classroom.

VR in the Art Room

We were able to purchase, and did receive two Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets before the end of last year! The students LOVED using them and we explored many ways to create art! Check out the video on my YouTube channel! Like and subscribe to stay up to date on the coolest things about Art and Life!

Categories
Art Education Existence

Connected

Amethyst Retreat Center hosted a Community Weekend event with the focus on the Gift-Giving economy structure. There were many creative and talented people there sharing their gifts; reiki, massage, art, readings, astrology, herbalism, nutrition, wellness, music, and more.

We are all connected.

The gift I shared was of self-awareness through creative expression. I asked attendees to consider the following questions:

How can we use art to remind us of our connectedness?

What happens when we remember we are all connected?

How do you connect with yourself, and others?

When someone was ready to respond, we presented them with a community mural that had been sketched out and painted the night before. The mural is our visual representation of the importance of our connection. Each mark adds to the whole of the image, and is vital in representing the energy of the space!

I have to give a shout out to my two awesome helpers, Rachel and Elijah! Both of them were there from the beginning helping to fill in spaces and make sure it was ready to be painted on the next day. Thank you!!

So, the design has a lot of elements to it! First I wanted to honor the Susquehannock Indigenous people, who inhabited the land before we were blessed with it.

In the Susquehanna River there are petroglyphs from the Indigenous people on rocks all throughout! A few of these petroglyphs were incorporated into the design…. human, thunderbird, water, and Manitou (the Great Mystery or Creator.)

The center of the mural is a totem of the Amethyst crystals, a rising thunderbird, and the spiral sun of the Amethyst logo. In the center of the thunderbirds chest is a handprint that symbolizes all those who are not seen and recognizes their being.

A sunrise over the Susquehanna river covers the garage doors.

The left of the mural is a flower of life surrounded by concentric circles in colors of the rainbow.

Each attendee left their mark on the mural in response to their remembering that we are all connected. The marks created by each person added to the creation of the mural, like we each add something to the play of life.

connected

I am beyond thrilled with the outcome and in awe of life because of each and every beautiful soul that shared themselves for this project.

Thank you Karen for believing in the vision and hosting such a beautiful community gathering.

There were so many other amazing things happening while I was painting away. Music by artists Natalie Lain, Grace Mahar, Daniel Flatley, Don Kovacs. Bhante Soma and Nancy Romano, Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple PA led us in a meditation with singing bowls. Tai Chi with Breanna. Yoga and Sound with Phyllis Vara. There was a Plant Walk with Calyx Liddick, Director, Herbalist, Teacher at Appalachia School of Vitalist Herbalism & Ecology, and a demo – Installing Solar Panels on a Tiny House with Bob Newmyer.

A Gift Economy talk where we gathered to hear the stories of transformation and the wisdom shared by individuals who are answering the call and are cultivating their gifts into services that inspire, heal, and nourish others. Karen Kovacs facilitates a group discussion with Erin Shrader, Calyx Liddick, Jennifer Rabenstein, Nicole Sharkey, and myself.

On Saturday and Sunday morning there was breakfast made by Lisa and a community potluck on Saturday night.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this weekend happen, and to everyone who attended! Together we create beautiful things, especially when we remember we are all connected.

Categories
Divine I Am Intuitive Henna

Kids Yoga Love Festival

The first ever Kids Yoga Love Festival was held at Amethyst Retreat Center in July 2021. Chelsea Parcels created a wonderful event for children of all ages!

Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artists once they grow up.

Pablo Picasso

Kids Festival

This was more than just a Yoga festival, it was full of experiences that allowed our inner child to play, dance, create, and explore!

The event offered Yoga inspired classes for all ages, Vendors, delicious food, ice cream, hiking, dancing, drumming, community art, beginner friendly. Kirtan, henna, forest meditation, friends, kittens for adoption, magic show, super hero martial arts class, Qigong, nature + SOooo Much More!

The day began with an opening ceremony with Chelsea Parcels & Emily Turin who performed of her very special song, “Send Out A Smile.”

Nicky Yesser lead us all in dance time.

I truly felt my inner child filled with joy as I danced along with the kids! You can feel her heart as she leads the kids to express themselves through dance!

There were many yoga classes held, Jennifer Lynn Teens Yoga Class, Kids Yoga Class with Erika Malorzo, Holly Keich, Kids Yoga with Suzi Zappile, Nat Aiello Yoga for Toddlers, Jennifer Lynn, Erika America Family Yoga Nidra, and Amy Necci Tween & Kids Yoga.

Rickie with Reiki by Rickie lead workshops for kids. It was so wonderful seeing Rickie work with kids and teach them about Reiki! So powerful to see children taking time to slow down and listen and feel the energy around them.

Dani & Shelley Herlihy played Kids Kirtan for us. Their music is beautiful and all the kids enjoyed sharing in song with them!

Julie Niblett read her book “The Talking Stick,” based on a true story of a boy who was bullied, and utilized the native American traditional talking stick to communicate and overcome obstacles.

Participants were able to make their very own talking stick, followed by a traditional circle discussion about effective communication. This was such a powerful experience for kids to have! We need more of this.

There was a Magic Show with River Barry, who has been immersed in the entertainment world for over twenty years. One of the most original and in-demand acts out there, River’s style of entertainment emphasizes moving beyond the present moment to help find an equal balance between self and nature, allowing the individual’s movement to be inspired by the moment. A magician, bubble artist, and rock balancing artist, River is committed to sharing the expression of the four foundational pillars of physical, mental, spiritual and financial.

Emily Turin, read her book “Herbert likes Sherbert.”

About the book: It seems at first to be a story about a child’s reluctance to try new things. As the story progresses, he learns that while cherishing memories is beautiful, sometimes holding onto something for too long can hold us back! Share in Herbert’s discovery as he braves the outcome of making new choices.

William Autore shared, ”Finding Your Future”

About the book: Finding Your Future written by author/artist William Autore, featuring his son on the books’ cover, is a comprehensive guide to self awareness and discovery of one’s purpose. Debuting in 2017, Finding Your Future is currently in talks of becoming a school based curriculum in New Jersey and an independent short film.

Kathy Conners Bucher lead everyone in Super Hero Training where they practiced their special powers and talk about what makes these super humans special. They finish the class learning what special powers they possess and how to bring them forth to help humanity. Experiences like this set the stage for a more self aware child!

Tammy & Jack Bray Yoga “Sacred Silliness” is always a favorite of mine. We did group giggles as we stretched, moved, and got our joy on playing in Laughter Yoga. So amazing… to show kids its ok to be silly and be you!

For the weekend I offered Intuitive Henna, and sold prints of my artwork.

I also hosted a Flower of Life workshop for the kids, allowing them to co-create in completing flower of life murals. This taught them the importance of our choices, and being tolerant of others choices. Also it was a nice lesson in the idea that sometimes things don’t always go the way we expect them to… the universe sometimes throws new things in the mix.

There was also William G Pagan Live Performance with his Didgeridoo, which were out of this world! Qiqong with Kathy Conners Bucher, Chad Brown live music, Forest Meditation with Erica Jo Shaffer, and a community fire with music, and s’mores!

Thank you Emily Zebel for capturing the day so beautifully!

Chelsea did an amazing job bringing together people from different backgrounds to create a safe and magickal environment of creation, exploration, experimentation, questioning, expressing and reflecting.

Her next event is the 2nd Annual Yoga Love Festival. (this one is for adults.) The first Yoga Love Festival was an amazing success! I am so grateful and honored to call her friend and be apart of these amazing experiences!

Categories
Education Indigenous Knowledge Most Popular

TAI

The Teaching Artist Institute (TAI) provides an opportunity for artist to learn techniques for social transformation through artistic expression.

Their goals are :

To train artist and artisans as educators of socially engaged art.

To establish and maintain a teaching artist collective.

To advocate cross cultural communication and mutual understanding thru art

To create a platform for teaching artist expression

Kim Poole is a Soul Fusion Performing Artist and Teaching Artist, as well as a Founding Fellow of the TAI. Kim and her team of Teaching Artists are developing ways to explore Art for Social Transformation. Kim is motivated to create art that celebrates culture, resilience and connection to one another.

TAI Tours

TAI also offers tours. A unique artist-led traveling experience which allows for authentic exchanges with people of the world! They offer customized itineraries, knowledgeable artist guides, and flexible schedules.

They also offer a Studies & Cultural Exchange which is a program that focuses on curating authentic exchanges with communities for the world in order to study or contribute to the regions symbolic.

The goal of the experience is to ensure that participants receive a holistic introduction to the region by being fully immersed in intimate ways with local culture and people of different sectors and classes in the region.

Underground Railroad

August 28th, 2021 TAI will be leading a 2-day camping excursion of the Underground Railroad through Cambridge, MD. Check out this link for more info!

Underground Railroad Excursion offers an experiential learning opportunity in outdoors survival education, scouting, land navigation and mariner arts that brings African American history off the page and into a practical modern-day focus.

TAI Tour

Interconnected

I was introduced to Kim through social media, we both worked on promoting an art conference, and only recently did we meet in person! We immediately hit it off, I knew we were going to do awesome things together! Kim is such an inspiration, has a wonderful heart, and purpose driven! On top of all that she is an amazing vocal artist! Check her out on Facebook and Instagram.

Kim also works with tribes to share their creations! I was so blessed to now own a Chungu drum! Check out the video I made of it!

We are all connected! When we allow ourselves to shine bright, we shine light on those around us <3

Categories
Most Popular

Mishomis Book

So I decided recently to record myself reading the Mishomis book, which is filled with Anishinabe teachings. This has been such a wonderful experience for me. Coming back to the chapters and reading them again has given me new insight. Every time I read it, I learn something new. I am excited to share our Ojibway teachings with you all, so that it might help all to see how connected we all are.

So far I am up to chapter 6, which is a fantastic chapter full of new insight, adventure and awareness. <3 Migwetch

MISHOMIS BOOK

Categories
Indigenous Knowledge

Red Road

The Red Road is the path we walk when we want a direct relationship with Gitchie Manitou, the Great Mystery. A road full of ritual, prayer, and gratitude. A path one takes to know themselves more, in relationship to the world around them. Original Man walked the Red Road when Creator lowered him to Earth and gave him instructions to travel the world and discover what life has to offer and how everything is connected. To be grateful for life, all that it brings and teaches us.

Living life based on the Seven Teachings of our grandfathers, the Ojibway walk the Red Road through Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility, and Wisdom.

These teachings give us a road map for a divine connection to ourselves, nature, and one another.

RED ROAD to DC

The House of Tears Carvers envisioned a journey across the U.S. to bring recognition to the need to save our sacred sites.

A 24-foot-tall totem pole was carved from a 400-year-old western red cedar tree. It symbolizes the challenges facing the earth and her people, especially the Native Americans whose stories are told during the dedication presentations in cities all over the country.

House of Tears Carvers are indigenous artists from the Lummi tribe in Washington state. In 2021, they are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Totem Pole Journey in the Spirit of Healing, Honor, Hospitality, Respect and Protection.

Our elder, Tom Sampson on Vancouver Island in 2002 reminded us, ‘The totem pole isn’t what is Sacred. It’s the gathering of the people around the Pole — that is what is Sacred.’ he said.

The pole was delivered to Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and the Biden-Harris Administration to draw attention and action to sacred sites and Indigenous rights.

The fact that we are all here is not insignificant. When our nation’s capital was established, its policies were intended to exclude us, to assimilate us. Laws and policies were written without considering Indigenous communities’ challenges or their strengths, and we are working hard to undo so many consequences of these actions,” said

Deb Halaand, the nation’s first Native American Cabinet secretary.

#REDROADTODC TOUR

July 14 Departure for the National Red Road to DC Tour
July 15 Snake River Dams, ID
July 17 Bears Ears National Monument, UT
July 18 Chaco Canyon, NM
July 20 Bear Butte, SC
July 22 Missouri River (Fort Randall Casino)
July 24 Standing Rock, ND
July 25 White Earth, MN
July 26 Bay Mills Water Ceremony
July 28 Washington DC

Tribal communities and Native peoples have been forced to defend the land, waters, and resources, from destruction and degradation for all of us. Sacred sites across Indian Country have been desecrated by development projects that move ahead without the consent of affected Native Nations or communities.

This has created a very real and growing crisis.

There is no time to waste to protect the most sacred places where Indigenous peoples pray, gather traditional foods and medicines, get drinking water, and visit to remind themselves of the ways their ancestors lived since time began.

We call on President Biden and Congress to direct all federal agencies to require the meaningful engagement and consent of affected Native Nations, early in the planning process, and before a project is approved.

Native Nations must be a part of the decision-making process. No more oil pipelines threatening water supplies without the consent of tribes. No more oil and gas drilling in ancient burial sites, without their permission. No more large-scale projects without tribes’ participation in planning and consent.

The U.S. must uphold the rights of Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples to Free, Prior & Informed Consent, as set forth by the United Nations.

Sign our petition telling President Biden and Congressional leaders to recognize the traditional, legal, and moral rights of Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples to protect sacred places.

TAKE ACTION HERE, SIGN THE PETITION HERE
https://redroadtodc.org/actions/take-action-fpic/#

I was able to attend the ceremony in Washington DC on the 28th at Diamond Teague Park. The Earth Corps. hosted the totem pole on the pier. We prayed and sang songs of life and unity, charging the pole with energy for healing and protection of each other and our sacred sites.

The Power of Art

What an amazing statement of the power of art! This whole project started in the mind of group of people and unfolded through their visions, sweat, blood and tears. Listening to a video of Jewell James discussing the process and idea behind the #RedRoadtoDC really touched me as an artist and art educator. This is a great example of how listening to our hearts and taking our imagination seriously will help us shape and create the world we wish to see.

Artivism

Aside from the beautiful totem pole, there was a large mural that had traveled the journey from Washington as well. People from all over the United States added their mark to this amazing mural which asks the question of us how do we connect with ourselves, each other, and nature.

Artivism marks a meaningful message in a public space. As it attracts people, it invites them to engage and sometimes get involved. The act of getting messy and play with paint sets an example of how we can break through our fears with spontaneity, trust, commitment, and creativity.

Melanie Schambach is the artist behind the idea of the mural. Her passion is in bringing people together in the name of sacred expression, through participatory painting.

How do we build capacity
to understand we are all interconnected?

“I believe societies and the environment are facing extraordinary challenges while the speed of change is faster than ever. New methods of engaging people, radical collaborating, and courageous processes that uplift the spirit through self-discovery, are some of the ways to contribute to positive change. With this body of work, I aim to challenge and re-discover the narratives of who we are, how we relate to one another, how we belong to the earth, and what is our shared responsibility.”

Melanie Schambach

Migwetch to everyone who attended the ceremonies and who have signed the petition. Our sacred sites are powerful and necessary places to assist us in remembering our connection to the divine. This journey is one of remembrance. Lets remind ourselves what it means to be connected to one another, and to the divine.

Categories
Revealing Treasures in your Own Backyard Southern York

Blue View

I love meeting new people who have a vision for their passion! We have been in the Spring Grove area, since December and every time I drive home I pass this blue house at the top of this beautiful hill! As I round the bend on my street, the view of the many green hills at the feet of the Appalachian mountains shine blue from the reflection of the sky. I had no idea that when spring came, there would be beautiful flowers and delicious produce at the bottom of that hill!

Blue View Farm

Blue View Farm

One day I decided to stop when I saw a woman putting flowers out at the stand by her driveway. It was around 7 am, and I pull in right behind her, get out of the car and introduce myself right away! So excited that there are such beautiful flowers right down the road from my house! I have been on this new ritual of filling our home with bouquets of fresh flowers, I explained to her. Jen is her name, and she owns Blue View Farm.

Jen shared with me that she does monthly subscriptions, and does custom orders! For our summer solstice ceremony weekend, Blue View Farm created and donated 4 lovely bouquets and a large center piece!

Blue View Farm

I highly recommend everyone to check out Blue View Farm for your flower and produce needs. Support local businesses and build community. <3

Categories
Most Popular

Open Projects

Ever get to the point where you have so many projects going on at once that you feel like you can’t complete any of them. Its like a game of ping pong, bouncing from one thing to another.

I am feeling that way this past few months. Really since Aquarius season started (Aquarius rising here). So many ideas are coming to mind, so many projects that will enhance the other projects, so many things to share with others!

What I have been learning since moving into our home is that projects come in many shapes and sizes… and they just keep coming. Even if they aren’t from your own imagination. I can create new ideas for projects all day long, but the more I do that the more the universe presents me with other projects. Perhaps its to keep me grounded, (mostly air and water energy here.)

Passion Projects

What I have found looking at all of the things I have going on, what things I would like to complete soon, and how these things relate… is that they all come back to one thing… my passion for sharing art, nature and spirituality.

Creating a nonprofit 501c3 for the arts and education of the whole human, with deep connection to self, nature and one another, is one of my ultimate and most driving passion.

Thinking of all of the things on my to-do list for this goal is where the projects start. Making a list of all of the things I need to do to get to that goal is usually where I start. Once I make that list, I begin the tasks.

I look at each task in terms of how quickly I could accomplish that specific task and begin accordingly. That’s usually why I have multiple things happening at one time!

Passion Projects

Reflection Projects

Stepping back and reflecting on why something is the way it is, allows a person to see things with less emotional attachment.

When I was driving to work today I started thinking of all the things on my lists, and I started to feel overwhelmed. I started to FEEL like I wasn’t doing something right because I had so many open projects!

Now that I’ve taken time to write it out and reflect on the whole situation… I realize how beautiful it is to have so many open projects. How much life and energy there is flowing around me, that I can direct it as I will.

Reflection reminds me that there isn’t anything wrong… its simply a matter of seeing it differently and being open to new perspectives. That is why I love writing. One of my favorite exercises is to do stream of conscious writing, where I write whatever comes to mind for at least 3 whole pages. This has really helped me to be able to step back during the day to evaluate my thoughts and feelings and to realize everything is about learning and growing. To know this allows us to have compassion for ourselves and one another when things dont go as we expect them to.

Expectations are good in only that they help us to strive for our greatest desires. However things usually never turn out exactly how we expect them to, so if we hold on to these ideas… we usually are never satisfied.

You know you are on the right path, when your passions align with your everyday projects. You know you are doing what you love, when your everyday life is aligning with your passions.

<3 Keep shining, keep creating