Dream Circle Facilitation

Another service I provide: Dream Circle Facilitation.

HEALINGDREAMTIGER.CHANDRASHERIN

Facilitating a circle for you, centered on dreaming and connecting with each other through dreams, dream visioning and growing/enhancing our waking lives with dreaming is my joy and honor. I am a dream circle midwife and delight in the empowering and healthy practices established by dream pioneer, Robert Moss, author of Dreaming The Soul Back Home and The Boy Who Died And Came Back. I have studied intensely with Robert (in person, via extended and in-depth tele-classes and via his books) for the past year. I have kept a dream journal and been active with my dreaming for nearly 3 decades. Synchronicity, healing, inspiration and natural magic can all spring from our dreams and sharing our dreams with family, friends and in circles of support.

Chandra is available to facilitate for small groups, individuals and workshops.
Check the link at the top of the page for more info.

Henna, Astrology, Weddings & Art and Photo Prints

I have been a busy bee! Getting mobilized to share my gifts and talents in the La Crosse, WI area and beyond has been taking up a lot of my time. Without delay, here is what has had my nearly undivided attention lately….new and new and improved services! Click on the titles below to learn more, and please, share far and wide:

Henna Body Art: I am a henna artist and am available (schedule permitting) for henna parties and events for individuals and businesses.
CSSherinArts.Henna1 

Astrology Reports: Astrology is a lovely and fascinating tool for self-exploration, affirmation and growth. Like a personality test or the Enneagram, it is a tool that uses symbols that can help improve your relationships with self and others.

Sun within a sun. Acrylic on antique dresser.

Wedding Officiant: Yes, it is true. I am legally able to officiate weddings. And, after officiating two weddings already this summer, I have found that it is something I enjoy and am really good at (judging by overwhelming positive feedback). 

ChandraSherin.com

Art and Photo Prints (“Shop Art”): Last but not least, I am really excited to now have a professional shop that sells prints of my fine art and photography. Not everyone can afford to buy an original painting, and this is a great way to enjoy lots of beautiful images at a fair price for the artist and the customer. Please take a look! You can order greeting cards, framed works or prints you frame yourself. But, hold on….the shop won’t be open for sales until July 20th. I will post about the opening when it happens. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, you may browse and figure out what you want to order for yourself or as gifts!

Echinachea in my herb garden. June 2013.

Thank you for taking the time to look around and see what’s up.
with gratitude, joy and peace,

Chandra

Art That Rocks

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The bottom three rocks were painted by my teenage daughter. The top three are mine. I added color to them after we got home. I forgot to take a before pic of them!

Art that Rocks! Ha ha. Literally: rock art.
This is pure magic for me because I have a deep affinity for both!

My daughter and I had a great time painting rocks from Lake Superior at Sutra Imports in Dakota, MN this past Saturday. Kim Hammer, the owner of Sutra Imports, supplied us with various kinds of paint and encouraged us to paint designs on the rocks like henna is painted. Kim has created a lush mecca of fair trade from India at Sutra Imports, her local business, and also has various small classes that encourage creativity, relaxation and fun. Her Facebook page nearly always has an event to offer, and really, there is something for everyone.

On Saturday, we each got three rocks of three different sizes. We painted white lines of design of our choice on the rocks. I did also paint one with the indigo paint that was there, and I liked the effect. My daughter is especially good at painting small detailed designs and she got everyone’s attention with her careful skill. When we got home, I began coloring and painting in the designs with color. The results were really fun. My daughter asked me to color hers in as well.

Check it out:

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All the rocks colored in.

 

 

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This is the one that started out with indigo lines. I added the gold and green at home with metallic markers.

 

 

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The feather design needed more detail, so at home I added some color and some gold to it as well as black lines. The littlest rock that my daughter painted was too sweet to color- had to leave it as it is. 

 

I can definitely see myself continuing to do this. Really fun. And the rocks Kim provided were amazing.

Little Maiden Had Lots of Questions for Me Today

The Maiden, from

The Maiden, from “The Faeries Oracle” by Jessica Mac Beth, Illustrated by Brian Froud. The key words for The Maiden are: “Auspicious beginnings. Birth. Growth. Joy. Hope.”

On our noon walk, Samantha and I encountered a mother with a son in a stroller and a little girl walking beside them. They stopped at the corner where we were going in opposite directions. The mother was engrossed in the task of adjusting a fussy and verging-on-melt-down little boy. Her little girl takes this pause as an opportunity to pet Samantha and engage me with her inquisitiveness. I am always up for questions and conversations with little children. It is most often interesting, enlivening, honest and fun. I took a good look at her. She reminded me of the painting, in a way, of The Maiden by Brian Froud from The Faeries Oracle (by Jessica Mac Beth and Illustrated by Brian Froud). At the same time there were some differences. This little maiden is a bit older, her golden locks have been fashioned into a small mullet, she is wearing colorful slipper socks instead of shoes and has little droplets of sweat on her little nose. She looks at me with an equal sort of quick visual study, and – without a word – shows me that she is surprised by my general energy and also happy about it. She gets right to the questions then:

Little Maiden: (petting Samantha, confusedly) What kind, what color is he?

Me: (I decide to sidestep the muddled question with this:) Her name is Samantha.

Little Maiden: Samantha. Mom! Her name is Samantha! (Her mother is still engrossed with the little boy in the stroller, maybe her brother…pause) Why do you have that thing on her? (pointing at the harness, obviously concerned about it.)

Me: Because she can run very, very, very fast and it keeps her safe. (I didn’t think explaining about the Italian Greyhound in her and how that factors in would help. Little Maiden is obviously hesitant about this answer…So I offer:) She doesn’t mind it. (Little Maiden is still not sure.. so I add:) At all.

Little Maiden: (Nods finally in understanding and approval.) Look at this flower I picked! It’s red!

She reveals a quite shortly cut tulip she had been hiding until now. She holds it up as close to me as she can. I lean down to see the sunlight illuminating the red.

Me: It is beautiful! It’s a tulip.

Little Maiden: It is a tulip. It is a tulip, Mom!

The mother explains apologetically and quickly that her daughter had picked it before she could do anything about it and hopes they won’t miss the one.

Little Maiden: (Quickly yet gently, changing the subject, gesturing to Samantha…) How old is she?

Me: Um…She will be 4 in June.

Little Maiden: Just like me! I will be 4.

Me: You will!? Wow! You are the same age.

Little Maiden: Mom! She will be 4 like me! (Mom is still busy)
Why are you out walking with her?

Me: This is our lunch walk.

Little Maiden’s mother is all set now and mentions to her daughter that Samantha must really appreciate the walk.

Me: Yes, she does.

Little Maiden: (mildly concerned,) Will you go home and eat after this? Will you go home?

Me: Yes, we will.

Little Maiden’s Mother says for her to say “goodbye and God bless you” to me as we part ways.

Little Maiden: Goodbye! (Pause, and we are both on opposite sides of the street now. She calls back to me:) I love you!

Me:  (Cheerfully and light, with a big grin:) Goodbye!

I think I can faintly hear her mother gently telling her that I love you wasn’t maybe the best choice of words for our parting. It was surprising and delightful – having the little faery maiden in human form part with me by saying “I love you” innocently. It was the best sidewalk tarot I have had in a while. What a lovely encouragement and affirmation of my present attention on hope, joy and new beginnings. Perhaps this moment brings a brightness and smile to you as well…if it does, The Maiden probably is sending an “I love you” to you too today, encouraging you to nurture that hope, joy and new beginnings you may have brewing.

Samantha, on our walk today.

Samantha, on our walk today.

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About a block away from where we had met, I found where the Little Maiden had taken a tulip. :)

Bee Goddess Painting

I have been working on this painting for a while. I *think* it is finally done. “Bee Goddess”, inspired by a friend who is making her dream of beekeeping a reality. This is also at a time when bees are in great need, so putting them out there with the help and blessing of a nurturing and protective goddess energy is germane. Acrylic and Ink on canvas. 18″x24″

beegoddess.chandrasherinart.2015
Fun facts about the goddess and bees: 
In ancient Greece the Great Mother Goddess was sometimes known as Melissa, the Queen Bee. Priestesses were called Melissae – Bees. The Great Mother Goddess, the Queen Bee, was synonymous with magic, healing, purity, holiness and renewal.
In ancient Egypt bees were equivalent to royalty. Honey or Bees was said to be the tears of Ra, the Sun god.

Ancient Celts believed that goddess Brigid’s bees came from her apple orchard in the heavens.

Goddess and Bee fun facts sources:
Mirror of Isis
and
The Bee Goddess Calls 

#OnlyLoveCanDoThat

(Edited: Important links to articles & video of what is happening in Baltimore – perspectives not being shown on most regular news sources – added below this article, Apr. 29, 2015…AND: this post was edited again (on April 30th, 2015) to reflect more of what I have learned and understand through these few days time. I used the phrase “all lives matter” along with “black lives matter” not intending to negate the solidarity, but rather, because all life and all beings matter – kindness to all being and all life are values that I have and express often, a mantra, a creed, if you will. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that putting them both together washes out the voices I was intending to support. I am sorry about that, and have corrected it. Never too old or young to learn and correct and grow from mistakes! Also, my expression of MLK’s words is sincere and heartfelt, and true to my being, and will never, could never be used or said in a manipulative and passive aggressive way as some are grossly doing. I wanted to express that if we are for life and love then we are allies and that is what we are, from the heart. And that beyond all odds, I do believe that what MLK preached is true and can be applied.)

When I woke up and found out about the Baltimore Riots this morning, I wept. I wept watching those grieving dealing with more pain and the youth so recklessly seeking a way to find change. After that, I wrote from my heart on my FB page about this. Here is what I wrote:

“It is heartbreaking. And the kids/people who were being destructive. I don’t condone the destruction…as many or most are not condoning it…but rather, saying how it is an inappropriate way to act out and how it disrespected everyone and hurts everyone. Yet, I feel and understand the core and honest – need and want – to tear down structures and systems that continue to allow people in authority to murder other people (who are black and brown) with little to no repercussions. Basically a need and want to get rid of corruption and all that opposes health and life for all. But fighting corruption with corruption? Or fighting corruption with violence? No. Those of us, like me, who have privilege because of our skin color need to speak up and stand in solidarity in a strong and peaceful way – whenever even the most subtle piece of racism or other “-isms” of discrimination and hate show up. No matter how hard my life has been or what difficulties I have survived, I still am privileged because I look very white. Nothing I can do about that? Not exactly. Being aware, means I have a voice and a choice when I am faced with these human rights issues. Who are we if we don’t? Peaceful does not mean weak. A strong voice. A strong heart. A strong mind that perseveres in the face of corruption and doesn’t accept it and seeks to correct it. That compassion that fuels it is strong. The strongest. How long can any of us tolerate the kind of insidious and violent racism that is thinly veiled by the massive business of Corrections in our country? Just like pedophiles are drawn to be in positions that come in regular contact with trusting parents and children. Hate driven people who want to lash out at their objects of hate seek positions of authority in which they could possibly get away with the violence within them. 

I understand the need the youth have to act out in the face of a violence that seeks to annihilate them and their loved ones. However, I completely believe what Dr./Rev. MLK Jr. said and taught: 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr./Rev. MLK Jr.

This is heartbreaking. To see the pain expressed so destructively. To see the grieving families being hurt from it. To see the young people trying to take down what they see is wrong but doing it in a way that causes more pain. To feel the deep and honest desire for the sickness in our country to be healed. I weep with every human who truly loves and care about others and life.”
-Chandra Sherin

In addition to saying this, I would like to say, that this illness of discrimination and hatred has many forms, not just one, and works within a race or gender as well as outside of it. I am white and I have also experienced some painful and hateful discrimination, for reasons other than the color of my skin. For others of all colors, there is discrimination because of gender, sexual orientation, class, poverty, level of mental capacities, appearance, education, simply for being “different”, weight, level of health, etc. There is discrimination within the black community towards one another. There has been, in the past, discrimination and hatred between First Nation tribes. This is really a human illness that knows no distinctions of color, race, creed, gender or orientation, actually. How ironic is that?

So, the truth and reality is, for all of us, regardless of distinctions between us is that solidarity, love, light, compassion and kindness – activism, peaceful activism & political action – rooted in these qualities, is what is critically necessary for us all to embody and vow to in order for healing within our country, ancestries, cities and communities to take place. Solidarity is saying, I don’t know what it is like for you, but I stand by you and support you. Black lives matter. Black lives are being stolen. Brown lives are being stolen. More than that. We are all connected and what happens to one happens to all of us. So, if you are a white person (like me) in a relatively peaceful city or wherever…you have a responsibility. As a human. To stand with your voice, heart, mind, actions each day for solidarity – that life matters, all lives. The corruption and sickness that kills black and brown people without question is clearly wrong/immoral/unjust and we will not be complicit by being silent. Since I am not the one facing violence all the time, I only know that solidarity is an answer. I can imagine what it is like to be racially oppressed. I can have compassion. But I don’t know. And never will. We haven’t come as far as we should have to heal the atrocities of the past, but a lot of lives of all colors have been laid down trying to make real change. It is no time to give up or splinter and divide against each other. It is time to claim solidarity to anyone who is for Life and Love regardless of any distinctions.

Update (Apr. 29, 2015):
The following articles and video are aspects and voices of the unrest and violence in Baltimore that is not being shown on most news channels. They express important, no, crucial perspective for all of us:

Polymic, 7 Facts Everyone Needs To Know To Understand What’s Happening In Baltimore:  http://mic.com/articles/116714/7-facts-everyone-needs-to-know-to-understand-what-s-happening-in-baltimore

WBALTV, Gang members get mic time, voices usually not heard at allhttp://www.wbaltv.com/news/gang-members-we-did-not-make-truce-to-harm-cops/32609810

VerySmartBrothas.com, Baltimore Is Not Ferguson:
http://verysmartbrothas.com/baltimore-is-not-ferguson-freddie-gray-is-not-michael-brown/

Think Progress, Obama Calls Out America For Not Caring About Issues That Led To Riots in Baltimore:
http://thinkprogress.org/election/2015/04/28/3652125/obama-calls-america-not-caring-issues-led-riots-baltimore/

Ordinary Miracles – A Cat & Dog Friendship

(*Be sure to watch the video, below this story, of Samantha & Winnie’s friendship!)
After our elderly beagle/terrier, Miss Honey, died of throat cancer in 2013, we found ourselves adopting another dog from the same county no-kill shelter (in Sparta) that year. Not long after Miss Honey’s death, we adopted Samantha. She was one of 42 dogs that had been rescued from an extreme hoarding situation when she was about 6 months old. It left her with missing enamel on nearly all of her teeth. A volunteer at the shelter fell in love with Samantha, named her and adopted her. This volunteer socialized her and spent most of her days with Samantha, taking her everywhere with her. Then, the woman’s life changed dramatically – and in a way that left Samantha alone way too much. So, she sadly had to surrender Samantha back to the shelter. Samantha was there two weeks before we found and adopted her. We fell in love with her immediately. She is so pretty, smart and sweet! She amazed us when we got her home! It seemed like she had always had been with us, and more than that, she immediately demonstrated to our three cats, her ultimate respect and friendship for them. It was stupendous! The transition was seamless and filled with awe and joy for all.
We were still grieving our previous dog, Miss Honey, but it made so much sense to honor her by saving this wonderful, amazing Samantha. Samantha is a clown, she makes us laugh and smile all the time. She is also extremely demonstrative of her enthusiasm and love for all of us. She is a healing, uplifting presence for all who meet her. Everyone who has met her so far has been completely enchanted.

In early Dec. of 2014, our older cat, Abigail, died of an aggressive mouth cancer. It was sudden and happened faster than we could process. In April of 2014, my older sister died of cancer as well. That was a lot. Sometimes things are so hard, it is best to move on and grieve as you do. We didn’t plan to adopt again right away. But the reality is, there are always amazing animals in need and we had the room for one more.

In late Jan. of this year, we adopted Winnie from a nearby town’s no-kill shelter. She chose us. As they do. And everything about finding her was an echo of deep love connecting to our dear kitty, Abigail.

Abigail’s passing was fast, but also full of grace and comfort. That was something I hadn’t experienced before with an animal companion death. It seemed Abigail had some strength and gifts to impart even in her transition. We adopted Abigail from the Humane Society in town in Jan. of 2003, a couple years after a beloved cat had died in a tragic accident. Abigail had chosen us. She had put her paw out and touched my nose gently. She was the much less common, female orange tiger. She had been homeless, was just under a year old, wasn’t spayed (she went through heat once – eek – then we had her spayed) and was sweet as a peach on a hot summer day. She also had a temper, but that was part of her charm. She was our baby cat when our daughter was a baby. They shared the crib and were close always.

Meeting Winnie at the shelter this past Jan. was a startling experience. Female orange tiger cats aren’t common at all. And there was one in front of us! Purring and loving us up! We observed her a lot, and she was only like that with us. She put her paw purposely in our daughter’s hand. And then in my husband’s hand. Like Abigail, Winnie had been homeless, was not spayed and is so sweet and smart. We were over the moon to adopt her! And like Abigail, she went through heat once and then we had her spayed.

By the way, Abigail left behind a cat husband. The other older cat in our household who is still going strong, Boris. Boris and Abigail were always in love and were like an old married couple in recent years. When Abigail was dying, Boris acted more and more like a kitten around her. It has been hard for him, but we take extra care with him, to make sure he knows we understand. Winnie doesn’t resemble Abigail, except that they are/were both orange tigers. The really cool thing is: Winnie looks like she is the offspring of Boris and Abigail together! Her face is like Boris’s and her personality is like Boris: super smart, tenacious, persevering and strategizing. She also has the heart-melting sweetness that Abigail had at times. It is like Abigail sent us her and Boris’s spiritual child. It seems against the odds and has been such a wonder for me. The timing and connection is uncanny.

But probably the most surprising and funny thing that has come of all of this? We thought that Winnie would be a lovely companion for our 5.5 year old Wesley, a tender-hearted and gorgeous Maine Coon cat we adopted from Tabby Town about 5 years ago. And they do really like each other. Which is adorable. And great for both of them! Winnie loves to hold Wesley’s magnificently foofy tail, snuggle her face in and go to sleep.

But the biggest and best surprise is this: Samantha and Winnie became the best of best friends. They play together for hours! They snuggle all night. Winnie cleans Samantha’s face and ears with fierce love. Samantha loves it. And more than that, Samantha needs it. They complete something in each other. They are as close as sisters. All of it is what I call ordinary miracle….filled with joy, wonder and healing medicine for those who witness, connect to, tune in to and experience it.
Here is a video I just made of Samantha and Winnie’s unique friendship. It is jokingly called “Tuesday Night Fight Club”, because they can play pretty intensely, but it is all play and totally harmless. They are both young and have lots of energy to play with! The second half of the video shows their snuggly side.

Enjoy!:

Chandra S Sherin ©