I love music. I have a huge, eclectic collection of all kinds of music. Classic rock is my favorite, but I also love techno, hip hop, funk, the blues, classical, jazz, pretty much everything. Except country. Sorry, all of you country music lovers, but I can’t listen to music that celebrates misery and violence, guns, alcohol, and religion. It’s just so negative. I was listening to “Shots”, by Imagine Dragons yesterday, and the lyrics really grabbed me. They reminded me of the fallout that occurs when we react from our Ego construct, rather than listening to the heart. Feeling slighted, or playing the victim serves no one.

** Note: I am NOT referring to victims of battering, sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, or assaults of any kind. Racism, discrimination, and emotional abuse have nothing to do with the Ego construct. They are direct attacks upon the Soul. The pain and trauma of those types of injuries must be addressed as swiftly as possible, with compassion and kindness. **

The Ego construct and the analytical mind feed each other. When an individual allows either one to rule, to make decisions or choices, the outcome is usually disastrous. We each have an Ego construct. It came with the body we received when we incarnated. Kind of like a matched set of Samsonite luggage. It creates the illusion of separation from Source, giving us the sense of Individuation necessary to fulfill our Karmic contractual obligations. It’s necessary, yes. But it can also be an enormous pain in the ass when it comes to achieving closeness and intimacy in relationships. That part of the lyric: “From the second that I was born it seems I had a loaded gun. And then I shot, shot, shot a hole through everything I loved. Oh, I shot, shot, shot a hole through every single thing that I loved.” Wow. That sums up the analytical mind and Ego construct reacting to circumstances perfectly.

imageSpiritual cultivation is about redemption. It is about reclaiming dominion over the Ego construct and the analytical mind. It breaks us out of old patterns of self-sabotage and self-destructive behaviors. Indulging the analytical mind and defending the Ego construct is a type of narcissism, which I consider to be the plague of this century. There is no joy in living from a defended Ego construct. No true intimacy. What you end up with is a life riddled with bullet holes, loneliness, and Karma. The choice is clear. Walk a path of Ego, or walk a path of Heart. You can’t do both.  Try to avoid relationships with people walking the Ego path, because they are like snipers in the bushes. Sooner or later, you’re going to get shot. And that just sucks. We’ve all been there. No more. Blessings, Judith

The Magic Of Crow

Crows are considered to be the most intelligent species of birds that there is. They are a part of the Corvus group, Corvidae, which also includes Ravens. Cultures all over the world have mythologies around Crows. In Celtic mythology Crow is seen as sacred to the Morrigan, the goddess who protects warriors. In some Native traditions, Crow is seen as the guardian of Sacred Law. ( See The Medicine Cards, by Jamie Sams and David Carson). Taoism also has Crow represented. In Norse mythology Crow is a part of the shamanic helping spirit of Odin, Munin.

I have always felt a strong heart connection with Crow magic. For much of my life I have lived in the woods, in relationship with nature. I love feeding the birds, and watching them gather at the feeders. I put out all kinds of seed, thistle seed for the finches, sunflower seed for the cardinals, suet cakes for the woodpeckers, and mixed seed for everyone else. Somehow, the word got out in the Crow community that my place had an all you can eat buffet. They not only became regulars, they moved in, adopting me. Crows are very loyal. When female crows become mature enough to go out on their own, they return home to visit once a week or so. So being adopted by them felt like an honor. My house was surrounded on 3 sides by 1,000 acres of state land. It had a really long driveway. When I had visitors, the crows would alert me as soon as the person pulled into my driveway, before my German Shepherds saw them. They would then escort the vehicle all the way up the driveway, flying directly above it. Every time. As soon as I greeted the person, they flew off.

Crows have also helped me avoid speeding tickets. Since crow represents Sacred Law, I decided to ask the crow nation to alert me to police sitting in wait with radar traps. They never fail me. One will swoop down in front of me  about a mile before a speed trap. I immediately slow down, and sure enough, there’s the trap. I’m not much of a speeder, but my husband drives like he’s in the Indy 500. Crows have saved us a lot of money in tickets.

imageWhen I was changing my name legally to Judith Star-Medicine, I hit a snag in the court system. The judge reviewing the request refused it, stating that I was attempting to pass myself off as a medical doctor. My attorney  called me with the bad news. I would not accept that. My name had been given to me by a Native elder. I made an appointment with my attorney. I brought sage, a crow feather, and a rattle to his office. I asked for the judge’s name, lit my sage, placed the crow feather on the document, and began to rattle, sending crow astrally to the judge. I reminded him that while he may have been appointed a guardian of HUMAN law, my name was given to me by a higher authority, and he could not block it. We also sent him the definition from the dictionary of the word medicine, versus the word medical, along with a copy of my spiritual sister’s book. Her name is Brooke Medicine Eagle. My attorney called me 3 days later. I had my name.

I have a crow on my bookcase in my office that I felt strongly guided to purchase from a taxidermist. I’ve had it sitting there for over 25 years. Crow reminds me that I am a servant of the Law, and a servant of the Light, above all things. It sits there, bearing witness to the body of work I do. The spirit of the crow is sacred to me, as is justice, fairness, and the truth. My prayer as I begin my day is always about serving from heart, with honor and integrity. I have loved the members of the Corvidae family for lifetimes. They are always with me. I send them my gratitude for their teachings and wisdom. We can all benefit from the magic of crow. Blessings, Judith

An Important Anniversary

imageToday marks the 5 year anniversary of my middle daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis. She saw her oncologist today, and was told she is Cancer-free. Whoo Hoo! We are celebrating. What a journey. I’d like to share a little about how we, as a mother-daughter team approached her healing, since we are both Shamans. I hope anyone out there experiencing this challenge finds this supportive and helpful.

Both of us have studied Chinese Medicine ( Chinese Herbal Medicine, Aromatherapy through Chinese Medicine, and Stones in Chinese Medicine) with the renowned Taoist Master Dr. Yuen in NYC. In determining the treatment strategy to be used, the first conversation was with Master Yuen, who has always taught that all illness is an invitation to change, that all illness has it’s roots in a spiritual imbalance of some kind within us. My daughter wanted to go the route of straight Chinese Medicine, no chemo. Her family and friends were appalled, convinced that if she didn’t go the traditional western route of chemotherapy she would die. ( Her biological mother and aunt had both died of breast cancer, even after chemo). They bombarded her with fear, anger, and opinions. Some were relentless. After listening to her share about this, Dr. Yuen advised her to undergo the chemo, while taking Chinese Herbal formulas that he was prescribing and changing every 6 weeks. He assured her that he would be supporting her body in dealing with the chemo, while the plants, as spiritual teachers, would help her get to the root of the illness, the “invitation to change”. He said that she could not afford to be bombarded by everyone else’s fear and negativity if she refused western medicine. Thus began a 5 month journey of healing using both Eastern and Western medicine.

After a double mastectomy, meetings with surgeons and an oncologist, a treatment strategy was set, using ACT chemotherapy over a 5 month period. ( Adriamycin, Cytoxan, and Taxol). I accompanied my daughter to each infusion session, because A. that’s what mom’s do, and B, every infusion contained Benadryl, the antihistamine, to offset a potential allergic reaction to the chemo drugs. There was no way my daughter could have driven home on her own after that. We decided that each infusion treatment be viewed in a positive way, so we agreed that once the curtain closed to the cubicle where we were sitting, no cell phones or TV or any distractions of any kind were allowed. We created Sacred Space. We opened each session with Native songs and chants. We brought a Crystal to every treatment for my daughter to hold on her lap. We visualized the infusion going into the port sewn into her chest as being filled with the Light of Spirit. We brought our own music, Native flutes and piano, which was playing softly in the background. We did affirmations. “Every hand that touches me is the healing hand of God”, and many others. We kept our conversations meaningful, uplifting, and positive. Only people who could agree to hold that space were invited to be present. One of my daughters closest friends was there for almost every session, also. A heart with feet, that one. Unbelievable love and support. One of my spiritual sisters came frequently.

At the core of everything was the desire to heal, on all levels, body, mind, and spirit. What was the” invitation to change”? We knew that getting to that was key. One of my daughters friends commented to her after it was all over, ” Boy, 5 months of chemo must have been hell.” My daughter laughed, and responded, “Not really. You know what was hell? Sitting with my mother, who was determined to get to the root of it”. I laughed. I freely acknowledge that as a Medicine Woman, I’m a pit bull. I don’t give up, and I don’t quit, no matter what. And I certainly wasn’t going to abandon my daughter when she was at a spiritual crossroads.

I have to admit that on some of those long drives home after dropping her off, I cried. Watching your child going through something like that is brutal. Even if you know it’s part of a process. Crap. It doesn’t make it easier. I blasted the Train song “Calling All Angels” on my car radio on my drive home, every week. Those lyrics kept me going. “I won’t give up, you don’t give up.” I sang along at the top of my lungs. I asked for help from Spirit. The beautiful thing is, all that we needed was provided. She got clarity about deep old soul patterns that had held her back her whole life. She committed to change. She worked her ass off. We kept returning to Dr. Yuen for new formulas. We grew even closer in love and trust. There were many healings that came out of that 5 months. Many. She came to see the Cancer as a teacher, thanked it for the opportunity for growth, and then released it.

So here we are, 5 years later, and she is even more radiant then ever. More vibrant. Filled with life. We donated a large Amethyst Cathedral Crystal to the hospital for the infusion room. Amethyst alleviates fear. We wanted to leave something for everyone that could support them on their journey, as well as uplift the doctors and nurses. They were all wonderful. We asked for permission to bring our drums to the last infusion treatment, to celebrate the end of the journey. The hospital said yes. So, for the last 15 minutes of my daughters treatment, we drummed. We sang. We celebrated her healing. The nurses cried. Everyone was moved.

I wanted to share this experience with everyone, for one reason. Whatever the situation, we are never alone. Whatever our name for Source, God, Spirit That Moves Through All Things, we are always connected. Be aware of that. Feel that connection. Live from that. On this beautiful anniversary, I send you all love, light, and blessings. Judith