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april 2012 • resources for inner peace, health and healing

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inside april 2012

essential wellness digital magazine Twin Cities Wellness aka Essential Wellness 4270 Honey Tree Pass Danbury, WI 54830 Publishers Dee & Lynn LaFroth ADVERTISING Dee LaFroth 715.259.3047 EDITOR Lynn LaFroth ART DIRECTOR Sunshine Sevigny WRITING SUBMISSIONS Click here for guidelines RECEIVE ESSENTIAL WELLNESS BY EMAIL! Send us your email to receive twice-monthly Celebrate Wellness e-news and Monthly digital Essential Wellness


8-14 Andean shamanism teaches us to honor, connect with Nature BY HOLLY GRAY SCHUCK 18-19 Align with Mother Earth through drumming BY JEANNE MARIE TROGE 22-25 Shaman from Nepal, Bhola Banstola, teaches respect for Mother Earth BY LENA SWANSON

28-31 Want to know more about herbalism? Visit the Twin Cities North Country Herbalist Guild meetings 32-35 Spring clean your emotional, spiritual house to restore balance BY MARY STOFFEL

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april 2012



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april 2012



Andean shamanism teac connect with Nature


N D E A N SHAMANISM is an experiential, flexible, and inclusive system. It has structure but no

dogma or rigid rules. Nothing is obligatory. The only rule or law is the sacred art of “ainy”—the principal of reciprocity which includes respect for every living thing. Incas believed in sharing and integrating knowledge, in-

1) From left: Holly Schuck, Luzclara, other drumming participant.


cluding spiritual knowledge, of all the peoples they either conquered or incorporated—their preferred method of colonization. The Incan empire stretched from Ecuador to Chile, encompassing 12 million people

2) Chumpi Stones are used in a Mun the Auric or Medicine Body.


ches us to honor, and



languages. plane is the hana pacha or superior world, and is inhabited by PLANES OF EXISTENCE extremely refined spiritual ener The Andean Cosmos has gies including Ascended Masters three distinct levels, or planes such as Jesus and Mother Mary. of existence. Each has its own The second level is the kay energetic qualities. The first pacha (pacha means time or

nay-Ki Initiation to seal the Light in

earth), our middle world, which we inhabit, (our 3D reality) including all material things, and includes both refined energies (sami) and heavy enerContinued Page 10...

3) Andean cross called chakana with the rainbow colors of the Cuzco flag, capital of Peru. It represents the “rainbow tribe”—people of all cultures and faiths and countries united together to care for Mother Earth

april 2012


HEALING WITH NATURE Andean Shamanism continued...

gies (houcha). In the Andean world, there is no concept of good or evil, only heavy or light energies. The third plane of existence is the uhku pacha, the interior or underworld which resides within the earth—(similar to the collective unconscious), and in each person. EVERYTHING IS ENERGY

Andean shaman-priests have never been taught to think like us. They still live in the “dreamtime.” They are not focused on cars, houses, or material objects. They are more concerned with energy—the infinite varieties of living energies called the kausay pacha. Every material object has a spirit or an energetic aspect. Mountains, trees, rocks, plants, animals, lakes, cities, homes, all have an energetic consciousness, a bubble of living energy that surrounds and interpenetrates the material world. All of life is made up of sound or frequencies. Every material object has a song that can be sung, a note that can be toned, a frequency of sound and matter. Andean shamanism 10

teaches how to communicate and interact directly with this world of living energies. The Andean Mystery Teachings invite us in to a delightful and seemingly magical world of mystical experiences. BELIEF IN THE POWER OF NATURE

North Americans tend to be very skeptical, believing in something called the stock market which one cannot touch or feel yet they dismiss the world of spirit often citing the fact that it is a world one cannot touch or feel. Both worlds however, are made up of a collective energy of beliefs and thoughts. Yet it is the world of nature or Earth Mother, Pachamama, that gives us everything—our material universe which we can taste, touch, smell, and feel. Andean shamanism teaches us about the collective belief system and the power of nature. We deepen our relationship to the Mother that feeds us, and provides our clothing, and homes. In the shamanic world, imagination, daydreaming, intuition, receptivity and

special abilities and sensitivities—the female side of our nature—is honored and honed. This allows things to happen that cannot occur within a patriarchal mindset and world view. There is a love relationship between our bodies and Pachamama. We belong to the land we stand upon and there is a natural and obvious relationship to nature. We have a grounding chord, an invisible line of energy from our bodies to the earth. Yet if you look at the malls, or an airport, where large numbers of Western people congregate, you can see that there are no lines of energy going from them or their bodies to the earth. When you look at indigenous peoples, or farmers who work the land, they look like they belong on the earth and feel rooted there. Most people remain severed from our Mother the Earth. 1993 MARKED THE BEGINNING OF A CYCLE

According to Incan prophesy, 1993 marked the end and the beginning of a cycle of time, much akin to the Mayan calendar. This Continued Page 14...

Pachamama is translated to mean Mother World.

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april 2012


HEALING WITH NATURE Andean Shamanism continued...

turning over of time, or Pachacouti (the turning over of time or Mother) is the first phase of the emergence of a fifth level of consciousness among groups of heal-

with the earth, living in harmony or “ainy,” with nature, are participating in a birthing of a new consciousness on earth, the birth of a new kind of world. Those

consciousness, we learn to leave behind fear and share our cultural gifts and achievements with one another as we care for the earth and for each other. STUDY SHAMANISM LOCALLY

The best way for an Andean shaman-priest to advance along the Path, is to teach. I must teach all that I know and transmit the initiations of Light to others. This is the Principle of Ainy. In doing so, I honor all of my teachers and Pachamama as well.

Shaman’s altar.

er/shaman/priests, as the general populous of the world begins to attain 4D consciousness. The second phase lasts until the return of the Sapa Inca, a sixth level priest, or enlightened being of sixth dimensional consciousness, who is to emerge around the year 2012. Those who enjoy working 14

who desire to co-create a new kind of world and witness the birth of this new consciousness, can learn from the high shamanism of the Andes, as this world view includes practical skills to enhance one’s life, and a wonderful world view that as we evolve as humans to a higher level of

Holly Gray Schuck is an initiated fourth level shaman-priest in the Andean tradition, who now transmits the Rites of Passage called the Munay-Ki. She has trained, since 1989 with South American teachers such as: Don Manuel Quispe, Alberto Villoldo, Americo Yabar and Juan Nunez del Prado of Peru, and for 16 years with Luzclara of Chile, after 10 years training with her North American native teachers. For more information contact Holly at or

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april 2012



Align with Mother Earth


N D I G E N O U S CULTURES knew the power of the drum and its ability to heal and connect one to the other worlds. They believed the drum to be symbolic of the heartbeat of Mother Earth. Studies have shown that drumming at 260 beats per minute puts one in a very relaxed state. It is in this state that the shaman journeys to other worlds to access spiritual information to help those in the community.


In our drumming circle, we use drumming to help the group connect with one another and to increase our personal power. Raising the energies through drumming, helps us to prepare for the healing work that we do in the circle. We also use drumming for joy and celebration in our togetherness. 18

Drumming may also be used as a form of therapy for releasing and moving through strong emotions such as grief and pain. I have used drumming with delinquent teens with amazing results in raising their self-esteem. DRUM TO CONNECT WITH MOTHER EARTH

I have a power spot that I go to frequently. It is a basswood tree with about eight trunks coming out of the ground in a circle. I slip between the trunks, into the center, and sit down and drum. The resonance from the drum moves through my body creating a sense of well-being and a connectedness with all life, in rhythm with the heartbeat of Mother Earth. I feel the heartbeat of the tree, the heartbeat of the drum, and my own heartbeat, all in union with the heartbeat of Mother Earth. The trees arms hold me gently as I sing out my heart song together with the voice of the drum.

I encourage you to find a place in nature that speaks to your heart. Bring your drum or rattle, and sit on the earth. Quiet your mind and begin to drum. It may take awhile, but you will experience a shift where you feel the interconnectedness of you and the earth and the drum. And then, connect with your heart and sing out your heart song. It may simply be tones or vowel sounds or words. Let the sound of your voice, join with the voice of the drum, singing your healing out into the world. Never forget that we are One! Jeanne Marie Troge, M.A., RMT, KRMT, is co-owner of Brigid’s House in Park Rapids, MN. She is a shamanic practitioner/teacher/ healer, and an Usui and Karuna Reiki Master/Teacher. Jeanne offers two-year trainings in core and celtic shamanism and many other classes in shamanism. Website: Email:


h through drumming

april 2012


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april 2012



Shaman from Nepal, Bho teaches respect for Mot


HOLA NATH Banstola, an indigenous Nepali shaman, comes to Minneapolis in June to teach about Nepali shamanism. Nepali shamanism is based on an animistic belief that honors Mother Earth and respects the spirit in all living things. This world view is key in preserving the ecology of the land and in bringing harmony to all things. Regardless of their religion, the majority of Nepalis turn to the shaman for their physical and emotional healing. Shamans are a central figure in their communities for they are not only the healers but also the storytellers, matchmakers, diviners, herbalists, dancers, singers, and musicians. The shaman’s main role is to work as a mediator between the spirits and the clients. They


acquire their shamanic talents and spiritual power through their personal helping spirits which can take the form of animals, birds, deities, and ancestors. The shaman works with these helpers by voluntarily going into an altered state of consciousness. SHAMANS: TRAVELERS BETWEEN WORLDS

Like many shamans around the world the Nepali shaman believes in the existence of three worlds—the Upper, Middle and Lower. These are connected by a tree called Kalpa Vriksha (the tree of immorality) which has its roots in the sky and its branches and leaves in the lower world. The shaman, in an altered state, travels between these worlds to get information that will heal their clients. Shamans also have knowledge of sacred places and the spirit keepers who live there. The sacred

places may be mountains, lakes, or rivers. The hidden language of the place is felt as rhythms, vibrations, and in warm and cool sensations. If a place is spiritually dead or out of balance the shaman must bring it back into harmony by calling on the spirits of the place. The Nepali idea of health is quite different from that found in the West. They believe that sickness is not only caused by imbalances in the body but also by soul loss, spirit intrusion, sorcery, home sickness, planet alignment, and karma. It is the shaman’s role to discover the source of illness and work with his or her spirit helpers to cure it. In Nepal, it is believed that the soul never dies but moves from one body into another in many cycles of death and rebirth. Because Nepali people feel they Continued Page 24...


ola Banstola, ther Earth

april 2012


HEALING WITH NATURE Shaman from Nepal teaches respect continued...

his family to be chosen by the spirits to be a healer. Banstola was educated in Nepal and India holds a Master’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology from Delhi University. He is a graduate in Naturopathy from the Indian Board of Alternative Medicines in Calcutta and has conducted extensive research on shamanism within different ethnic groups and traditions in his

Bhola visits Twin Cities in June.

possess a part of all their ancestors the ancestral deities are a strong source of power and protection. Without the ancestors’ blessings and help shamanic healing sessions are difficult.

be teaching a weekend workshop at The Healing Loft in Minneapolis on June 23 and 24. Banstola was born in l966 in the Bhojpur district of east Nepal. He was called by the sprits at a very young age to become a shaman and was initiWHO IS BHOLA BANSTOLA? ated by his grandfather, who had Bhola Nath Banstola is an in- been the shaman of his village. He digenous Nepali shaman who will is the thirtieth generation within 24

Bhola p

native country as well as in India. The June workshop is open to anyone who knows how to “journey� and is not only for practitioners. It is intended as a transformational and healing experience that changes lives. During the weekend there will be a healing ceremony where spiritual, emotional and physical issues will be transferred into a shamanic man-


Bhola in trance performing a shamanic ritual.

dala. He will also be available for individual healing sessions and is bringing many sacred objects from Nepal and India to sell. Bhola’s sponsor, Lena Swanson, has been a full-time professional psychic, animal communicator, shamanic healer, past life regression facilitator, Reiki master, and consultant in the

use of flower essences and essential oils for the past nine years. Her holistic healthcare practice focuses on achieving and maintaining wellness for both people and animals. She also teaches a variety of animal communication and shamanic journeying classes. S e e w w w. l e n a s w a n s o n . c o m or call 651.206.0644 for more i n f o r m a t i o n o r t o re g i s t e r. april 2012



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Shamanic Training Program Whispers on the Wind A 12-month apprenticeship in Earth Medicine Teachings

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Nature, heal the wounds of your past, awaken to your gifts and deepen your connection to Spirit. Click here for full program brochure Facilitated by Amy Wilinski Golden Light Healing in Northeastern WI 920-609-8277

Andean/Stone Shamanism ENERGETIC TRANSMISSIONS FOR HEALING Emotional release work. Address core issues keeping you from your joy and peace, using the Medicine Wheel as a Map of YOUR Transformational Journey.

Call Holly Schuck., MS, LICSW, Frequencies of Brilliance Practitioner at 715-865-6803 •

april 2012



Want to know more abo

Visit the North Country Herbalist Guil


HE NORTH Country Herbalist Guild (NCHG or The Guild) is the place to be on the first Wednesday of the month if you’d like to learn about the wonder-filled world of herbal medicine. Folks of all herbal abilities are welcome from practicing herbalists to Moms who’d like to be able to provide care for their families. Our meetings are open to the public; you do not have to be a member to attend our meetings. We do ask for a $5 donation from non-members.

ing education in the practice of therapeutic herbalism, and we make every effort to present a broad educational program and to make these programs available and affordable. Our programs are designed to encourage ethical collection and preservation techniques and to promote education that increases awareness of ecological balance and a healthy environment. Local speakers, members, and board members all donate their time in these efforts. At each of our meetings we sponsor a local speaker who discusses topics designed to advance the study of the therapeutic use of A COMMUNITY RESOURCE herbs. We are fortunate here in the FOR THERAPEUTIC Twin Cities to have a thriving herbal HERBALISM community and plenty of talented The Guild was founded in the teachers who generously share their early 1990s to serve as a resource passion, knowledge and enthusiasm to the community and to create a with the NCHG herbal community. network of support and communication among herbalists in the upper Midwest. We are a non–profit organization dedicated to promotContinued Page 30..


out herbalism?

ld meetings!

april 2012


HEALING WITH NATURE North Country Herbalist Guild continued...


A sampling of past meeting topics include: Cordials & Elixirs with Carol Jacobs, Herbal Aphrodisiacs with Liz Johnson, Men’s Vitality with Matthew

Wood, An Herbal Approach to Autism with Libby Rupp, The Magic of Herbal Beer Making with Sara Sherva, Compounding Herbal Formulas with Francis Bonaldo, Fire on the Mountain: Heather Flower Essence with Loey Colebeck and Inva-

sion Biology with Mark A. Davis. SPECIAL EVENTS IN 2012

We are sponsoring a special event this year too by hosting Robin Rose Bennett, an herbalist in the Wise Woman Tradi-


Meeting times: 6:30–7:00 p.m. tea and socializing, 7:00-9:00 pm featured speaker Apr. 4

Why Herbs Work: A Phytochemical Perspective

May 2

Creating Your Herbal Pharmacy

June 6

The Co-evolution of Herbalism and Healing: Galen, Hippocrates,

Hildegard, Chakras, Herbal Practice & “The Celestine Prophesy”

Aug. 1

Experience the Qi of Essential Oils

Sept. 5

Tree Walk

Oct. 3

Ritualistic Herbs and Smudge Stick Making

Nov. 7

Treat the Pattern not the Disease: Making Sense of Signs and Symptoms

Dec. 5

Healing Applications of Minnesota Plants Not Typically Available on the Herb Market

tion on the weekend of the autumnal equinox for Healing our Spiritual Hearts with Plants & Equinox Celebration. Sept. 2223, pre-registration and payment required. Full event description can be found on our 30

website Our December meeting also includes a Silent Auction to raise funds for the upcoming year’s activities. This is a very lively meeting, and the auction items consist of high quality handcrafted

herbal wares, jewelry, gift cards, books, and much more. It’s a great time to treat yourself to a lovely gift, pick up a few hostess gifts or unique gifts to start your holiday shopping while at the same time supporting the Guild.


The NCHG website is a great resource for herbal happenings—both locally and regionally. Check out our website at to view area classes and click on the links

to our teachers to learn more about our herbal community. Our website is updated frequently, so check back often for new listings. We send out a monthly enewsletter as a reminder of our upcoming meetings and events.

If you would like to be on our mailing list or learn more about the Guild, visit our website at or send us an email at We also send out two postal mailings per year, one in February with the upcoming year’s

2012 Mary Schmidt Connie Karstens Shannon Anderson Jodi Baglien Kent Honl J ane Hawley Stevens Anita Teigen Matthew Alfs

schedule and one in November highlighting the Silent Auction. Our yearly postcard can be downloaded from our website also if you’d like to help spread the word about the North Country Herbalist Guild. april 2012



Spring clean your emotio house to restore balance


E TEND to collect things. At least, I know that I do. Things that we like such as keepsakes, heirlooms, mementos, books, and rocks. These are fairly innocuous, until they become a burden to maintain, store, and move. What most of us don’t realize is that we also tend to collect things from other people. This can be opinions, judgments, beliefs, emotions, goodwill, and even pieces of their life-force or life energy. Often the interaction is so subtle we don’t even realize it is happening. Many of us started our collections of other people’s stuff when we were growing up— learning how to survive, cope, and thrive. And we continued this behavior into adulthood because it was what we knew and


it was familiar. In our modern society very little consideration is given to the rightness or ethics of this practice. And hardly anyone is concerned about the long-term effects this can have. DELETE STUFF TAKEN ON FROM OTHER PEOPLE

Shamanism is the spiritual aspect of healing and a shamanic session is mainly concerned with restoring to a person the life-force or soul-essence they have lost, usually through a traumatic experience. But a number of factors have combined to convince me that getting rid of those things we have collected from others can be just as important. Being an empath myself, I know how natural it is to take on what others feel, assuming that it is my own. So what better time to address this than now, during the season of spring cleaning.

There are ancient shamanic techniques used to extract something that has become attached to a person. Sometimes you are aware of it—a feeling or a knowing that something is not right. But usually the person does not know about it. It may have been with them for so long that it seems normal. I am not talking about anything that has negative or evil intent here, although that can happen. Today, I can give you some techniques that you can use to clear yourself, your aura, and your space of anything that does not belong to you. You can also do preventive measures to avoid attracting stuff in the future. FIRST STEP IS TO EXAMINE SELF

First, a little self-examination is in order. Do an inventory Continued Page 34..


onal, spiritual e

april 2012


HEALING WITH NATURE Spring Clean continued...


of your major feelings, beliefs, moods, actions, and reactions. This is like cleaning a closet where you take everything out and start sorting it into piles. Your piles might be: 1. This I like about myself; 2. This I really don’t like; 3. This is a repeating pattern or behavior; 4. This is what I deliberately want to be like. DETERMINE WHERE YOUR BELIEFS ORIGINATED

The next step is determining for each issue if this is really your belief, etc., or if you acquired it from someone else, i.e. a parent. After you have made the lists in your personal piles, the next decisions are: 1. I can take care of this myself; 2. I may need

help with this issue; 3. I am deliberately going to create this; 4. I definitely want to get rid of this and need help to do it. It is said that every cell in your body is replaced with a new one within seven years. Experience has shown me that we can create what we are and who we want to be. If you want to change your life, if you are not experiencing what you want, this is a way to get started. For those things you can eliminate by yourself, use tools like sage, Palo Santo wood, essential oils and flower essences to clear yourself and your space. For those attributes you want to create in your life there are many avenues of self-development to explore.

WRITE IN 2012 FOR WWW.ESSWELLNESS.COM click here for the guidelines

And for those deeply rooted selfsabotaging behaviors and beliefs, the study and practice of shamanism can help you restore balance and harmony to your life. As a shamanic practitioner and Avatar Master, Mary Stoffel works with both people and their animal companions to help restore spiritual balance and personal power. She uses telepathy, energy interference patterning, essential oils and shamanic he aling methods to help people and animals deal with holistic health issues. Author of The Practical Power of Shamanism: Heal Your Life, Loves and Losses. Contact Mary at 763-444-8146;; w w w. h u m a n i m a l . c o m ;

Shamanism Training Program

Healing the Wounded Spirit, Soul Retrieval, Recovery From Trauma, Space Clearing, Depossession Need help writing/publishing your book? Call for consulting, editing & publishing Contact Mary Stoffel 763-444-8146 april 2012


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Apr 2012 Essential Wellness  

Holistic magazine, april features healing with nature, herbs, shamanism

Apr 2012 Essential Wellness  

Holistic magazine, april features healing with nature, herbs, shamanism