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Shamanic Artist

by lulujane on February 2, 2009

Jennifer Joy Daniels.  I met Jennifer at a workshop at Northern Edge Algonquin in September of 2008.  Northern Edge Algonquin is the home and also a place of business for my son, Todd and his wife, my daughter-in-law Martha.  This time my travel north was to attend a shamanic workshop.

Without having met Jennifer I observed her walking on pathways and around the property with a look that told me she had been here before and was comfortable in her surroundings.

Workshop participants were honoured to be in the presence of and receive teachings and wisdom from Mandaza , a Bantu shaman, healer, medicine man from Zimbabwe.  Our circle was comprised of approximately twenty-eight people, the larger proportion of which were women.  When I am travelling alone I often wonder who will sit beside me on a plane or train, and what the significance of it may be.  I watch for synchronicities, coincidence, symbolism.  There were three men in this circle of twenty-eight participants.

When I walked into the meeting room it was almost empty.  There were only a couple of people there ahead of me.  I consciously placed my water bottle onto a backjack seat on the floor, silently wondering who would sit beside me in the circle.  Then I walked to the other side of the room where I became involved in conversation.  By the time the circle convened I found that a man sat on the right side of me. The chair beside me remained empty.

A short while into the ceremony a man and woman arrived late due to challenges with late flights and the long distance they had travelled.  The man seated himself to my left and the woman sat one seat beyond the man on my right side.  The next day we returned to the same seats with the exception that the men switched seats so that the man who arrived late could sit beside his female partner.

It was the following day that I made a startling, to me, observation.  There were three men in the circle, other than Mandaza.  I realized that one man sat on either side of me.  Because I have five sons and for years worked in a  predominantly male environment I wondered aloud about the symbolism of this.  Once I spoke, others in the circle pointed out that the third man in the circle was sitting directly in my path across the large circle.  I pictured this as similar to the point of an arrow, with me as the shaft, and the three men as the points of the arrow.

Jennifer sat in the same circle.  Over these few days I saw some of her paintings that Todd and Martha had purchased. I also saw a brochure that displayed some of her work.  I do a lot of photography which sometimes includes macro images showing intricacies of gorgeous flowers.  I have seen many breathtaking things and still, her art took my breath away.   I immediately knew that she was blessed with an incredibly wonderful gift.  In conversation with her I felt she was strongly connected with spirit and she shared a bit of the process she uses when creating a piece of art.

After I returned home I contacted Jennifer to see if she would do a shamanic journey questioning  the symbolic meaning of the seating placement in the circle.  Following is a description of the journey she shared with me:

I rode upon dolphins back from my sacred entrance and into the middle world leaving a brush stroke of paint as we swam  coming from dolphins tail/fin we first created three points of the triangle in circular shapes one of red, then yellow then blue. We circled in toward the centre creating a vortex of light around a tree, a beautiful tree with leaves of the same colours red yellow and blue. We swam in the vortex around the tree creating sparkles of light…  as sparks and sparkles  falling from the leaves of the centre tree. There was a stream that also circled around the tree creating a circular pond  with small tributaries of water and light to each of the three points of colour there were three small growing trees in the centre of each point symbolizing the supportive growth of the centre tree which I sensed was you. between the centre tree and the circular pond was a meadow of tiny white flowers.

Believing that somehow the seating arrangement and the descriptive journey had special significance for me I excitedly considered whether she would be willing to create a painting for me to represent the journey.  I believe there is something I am supposed to understand, to own, and believe the painting will serve as a reminder to me.

Jennifer and I have talked on the telephone and exchanged emails.  She will do additional journey work as part of the intense preparation she undergoes in the flow of her process.  An introductory view of Jennifer, her education, credentials, experience are warmly described on her website

I excitedly and patiently await.

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