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Deer Heart Medicine

This morning’s gift….four deer just below our window spent the morning grazing. An older buck with full antlers, a younger one with little antlers growing, and two females. It was such beauty and grace to watch and such lovely medicine to experience and be messaged with. This same window was where a black bear gave us a show rolling in the snow this past winter. And the deck is where a hawk landed, facing in at me, and so many variety of large and small birds (including eagles) fly by and land, as well as squirrels and chipmunks come play. It’s truly wonderful to experience and I know will continue tenfold at our new home on the forest.

I’ve written before on deer symbolism, which includes so many lovely energies:

love, grace, gentleness, compassion, innocence, peace, beauty, fertility, femininity, humility, swiftness, acceptance, regrowth, renewal, creativity, spirituality, psychic power, subtlety, higher connection, awareness, abundance, benevolence, watchfulness, and is associated with the moon, the dawn, and the easterly directions.

The stag in particular symbolizes the same, but includes masculinity (which brings balance), regeneration, guidance, healing, connection to the Earth and forest, alertness, pride, independence, purification, strength, and nobility.

I thought I would share some of the photos I capture this morning, as I spent about a half hour or more just watching them.

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I also found it a beautiful synchronicity, since my dear friend Dawn is visiting and she is very connected to deer medicine as well, having a couple of sacred tattoos of them she wears on her skin, and her blog is in fact called Deer Heart Reiki

We have continued to share some magickal times and sweet moments while she has been visiting. Today she’ll get to meet Astrid and we’ll take in a lovely forest hike before she heads off tomorrow morning, which will be sad, but also just a continuation of the journey and cycles we share.


Embracing Nature’s Reflections at the Grand Canyon ~ Spring, Deer & Elk Symbolism

20160320_180702_resized.jpgLife unfolds rapidly before our eyes and we sometimes don’t realize how truly far we’ve come in a relatively short span of time.

With the changing of seasons comes a time, if you haven’t already, to review your life and to truly feel gratitude for the beauty that you DO have, regardless of all the aspirations and desires you feel you have yet to attain.20160320_182841_resized

As Spring continues to unfold and blossom, the revving new energies of the year are beginning to truly take form and all that you’ve intended has grand opportunity to come into manifestation.

Not only can we all benefit from a little Spring cleaning on all levels right now, but could also benefit from more full-embodied living and breathing in of those parts of ourselves and our lives that await our embracing and remembrance.20160320_182857_resized

Being in the now and realizing the power of this now moment can be transformative in big ways. Everything can change instantly based on what you decide to do with this moment, your choices, and the actions you put into motion right now.

And as always, there is much we can learn from all the symbolism around us, especially in nature, that reflect the messages we need most in our lives right now as support.20160320_182949_resized

We can call upon our Earth Mother to help in these changing times of our journey, especially when in need of support in moving more easily through the turbulent waters of some tough life-transitions, need a bit of positive encouragement along your journey, and when you are actively wanting to connect more deeply to the spirit world and focus on your intuitive development.20160320_182914_resized

There is much in store as the year unfolds so it’s nice to know you always have a nurturing friend at hand that can assist, as she is there to help you release and renew.

20160320_182932_resizedMany more adventures await you if you learn to embrace the opportunities presented to you and optimize all that is in your present experiences.

You can rest assured that if you support yourself and take the necessary steps, you will be supported in return with many blessings and gifts.

Our Spring Equinox was truly a gift.

20160320_182821_resizedAfter settling in to our new park home we decided to do a short four or so mile trail along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just to take in the new energies and welcome in a new season of our lives.

20160320_183413_resizedWe ended up off-trail and looping through the forest, which gifted us with coming upon twenty-two elk and then four deer directly after that pranced across our path – a buck and three females. All of the elk were females or younger ones.20160320_182523_resized

Twenty-two seems significant right now, as last night I ended up dreaming about numbers and twenty-two was the number chosen for me in it.

elkAnyway, we sat with a group of seven elk for a while and one female took a liking to Dave, shyly checking him out while nibbling at the tree she was sneaking looks at him through. It was so cute!elk2

Three of the female and younger elk when they saw me just laid down on the forest ground peacefully.20160320_182345_resized20160320_182415_resized

I’m convinced the female curious about Dave would have continued closer had some people not scared her off.

It was really a beautiful experience to be among these beautiful creatures.20160320_183518_resized

And then as we settled back home to relax, coyotes began howling at the moon glowing in the spectacular vibrant display of blue, pink, orange and purple sunset that was like someone went with fluorescent markers across the sky to paint…it was so bright!20160320_185214_resized20160320_185057_resized20160320_185136_resized20160320_185128_resized20160320_185201_resized20160320_185244_resized

The photos don’t capture the color at all.

All being such a beautiful way to celebrate Spring with so much symbolism.

I would have been grateful just arriving here and resting, to integrate everything…so this was all truly a surprise gift.

The deer and elk were lovely Spring reflections.

I’ve written before on deer symbolism, which includes so many lovely energies:

love, grace, gentleness, compassion, innocence, peace, beauty, fertility, femininity, humility, swiftness, acceptance, regrowth, renewal, creativity, spirituality, psychic power, subtlety, higher connection, awareness, abundance, benevolence, watchfulness, and is associated with the moon, the dawn, and the easterly directions.

The stag in particular symbolizes the same, but includes masculinity (which brings balance), regeneration, guidance, healing, connection to the Earth and forest, alertness, pride, independence, purification, strength, and nobility.

20160320_183328_resizedBut elk is a newer encounter for me, and while there are some similarities with deer, they have unique qualities that feel very connective for me/us right now.

They carry the medicine of virility, fertility, nobleness, sensual passion, grace, integrity, stamina, dignity, vision of fulfillment, strength, and empowerment.

Since elk seem to literally vanish, as they walk silently through the forest, they are known as Ghosts of the Forest.

Autumn is considered the powerful time of the elk, as this is when they mate…so virility is on high.

However, it is Spring that brings around the birthing season – both for elk and deer. This is why we saw so many younger elk and a lot of females. The one deer buck was the only symbolism of that virility.

20160320_183343_resizedSo all of this feminine and young energy coincides with things for us that are coming to fruition in Spring from what we’ve started in the Fall. This can be starting to see things manifest, having greater clarity and vision for what you were processing, feeling invigorated to put things in motion in bigger ways, taking new leaps of faith, making changes, and having courage to branch out and go for it.

Like all of nature, elk are spirit messengers that work with the lightning so their messages and insights can sometimes come like a flash to you. So it’s good to pay attention to what you were thinking when they appear or what comes to you then or thereafter, as these can be divinely inspired visions of clarity directly channeling through.

20160320_183718_resizedSince elk don’t come into their prime until much later in life, so this can mean that with steady focus, energy, and action, you too will eventually achieve what you desire, but don’t give up early. The elk don’t stop their growth because it takes longer than other animals to get to adulthood. They simply embrace that this is part of their journey and process. Slower doesn’t mean worse. Faster doesn’t mean better. Keep believing and keep moving forward.

The contradiction of slow growth, later followed by almost instant growth is an interesting medicine for us to receive as well from them. They let us know that when the time is right and things align, growth will happen overnight, just as elk bulls regrow antlers an inch a day. The velvety covering on their antlers is considered symbolic of our power to rebuild our bodies and life force.

This speaks a lot to me, as I’ve always had things come later in life and continue to see that now as well with all I am inspired to keep focused on. And many times things have seemed to come overnight for me, but people haven’t realized the years I’ve put into the behind-the-scenes work to get there.

20160320_183732_resizedElk carry the medicine of gentle power as well. Although they are prey animals, creating vulnerability, they are also respected by predators who see that it is a force to be reckoned with and won’t go down easily without a deadly battle. Predators normally wait and look for weaknesses in the herd and then and only then attack.

So this keeps in mind that we need to be wary of our weaknesses so that we can take care to strengthen ourselves and fortify so we aren’t surprised by things coming at us from behind or seemingly out of nowhere. There is a beauty in gentle power, which again speaks to that balance being key in life.

Elk are connected to Birch trees, having a natural affinity for them. Birch trees to the Celts are trees of new beginnings and sit at the doorway to the spirit realm. So elk herald fresh energy and walking between the realms, bringing us messages from beyond that we can infuse into our lives tangibly.

Elk learn to balance working cooperatively in groups, but understanding their need and the importance of being by themselves now and then and so they go off when feel called to do so. Just as we also need time to recharge and focus on our own things away from others, while then understanding co-creation and sharing is a way to optimize as well.

Elk teach us how to balance and conserve our energy too, as they can get depleted easily and not be able to do their work. So, too, do we need to be mindful of not overdoing things, over-extending ourselves, thinking we are invincible, have to do it all by ourselves, or that it all needs to be done now and keep piling on more. We need to monitor and moderate our expenditure of energy – the easy to see ways we put it out and the not so easy ways of seeing how we are having it sucked from us.

Elk is known for having a deep gentle voice like that of a bard that tells stories and sings songs.

This directly speaks to me, as storytelling is one of the paths both through creative artistry, words, and sound that is guiding my life and how the life force within me is wanting to be channeled.

20160320_183837_resizedI just love how much we can learn about ourselves through nature and how everything is always so on point for us in terms of who we are as souls and where we are on our journeys.

The photos shared here are from our first few hours in our Grand Canyon home. We are only staying here until Wednesday the 23rd, but I imagine over the next two days we’ll continue to receive much richness here.

Today we’re going to do a long bike ride packed with a picnic lunch and I look forward to what surprises we’ll discover along the way.20160320_182618_resized

We will be leaving just as the Full Moon Eclipse in Libra on the 23rd takes place, which is a penumbral eclipse where the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned in a straight line. A subtle, but visible eclipse where the Earth will block some of the Sun’s light from the Moon, creating a shadow. Potent stuff!

So with Spring, Full Moon Eclipses, and so many of nature’s messages for us, there is indeed a lot of fertile energy available to us all.

The question is, what will you do with it?

Because you can harness it in any way you choose….or not. 🙂

I hope you enjoy these images of the majesty and beauty that are part of this beautiful Earth we call home.tania

Kaleidoscopic Lotus Star Sacred Tattoo Design – Recreating Potentialities

sacred tattoo designGrace is beauty of form under the influence of freedom. ~Friedrich Schiller

Another amazingly magical and powerful sacred tattoo journey came to closure and yet it is also, simultaneously, just the beginning of the journey for this dear client and all that she is welcoming into her life.

I find that the energy is continually deepening and expanding for everyone, the collective, myself, and in turn, the sacred tattoo design process. The complexity of symbolism and layers that I am being challenged to convey are exciting to say the least and as I shared with my client before embarking on the creative journey of channeling her essence into manifestation,

“Whenever I have a really involved design to create, I always am like how the heck is that going to happen? And then I just say, shhh, it always does.”

This is a concept that has been with me since I first originally started professional work as an artist and designer and has increasingly grown. My very first commissioned pieces were extremely complex things I had never done before (in this life at least) and were commissioned by extremely left brained professionals (I do like to challenge myself), but I approached it from the get-go with confidence and trust that the ability to do anything was there within me and I needed only to engage and allow it through. I believe it is this way for us all.

For some reason there has always been this innate trust in this aspect of myself, regardless of what my mind might think otherwise, and I have chosen to go with the trust rather than the fear. Which is interesting, as usually the unseen and intangible can be the challenge to trust and things that are more logical and tangible are what we fall back to relying on. However, for me, it is my creative process and intuitive trust that has taught me how to extend this trust to other, and all areas, of my life.

That is how I approach life in general now, after experiencing my evolution through this.

And quite an evolution this magical piece is. The synchronous and interesting journey from start to finish, the timing, the story, and the personal things each of us, me and my client, were experiencing each step of the way. There could be a whole other book on these journeys, and yet I could never capture the magic even if I tried.

With each journey, my clients will share things they have as intents, things that are meaningful or desired to incorporate whether literal or abstract, and then I draw upon these and tune in to which feel most supportive for current empowering, what other things may be supportive, and how to have these things portrayed that will optimally embody the energy intended.

As I always share, there is so much to each design and everyone sees and receives differently from viewing them, which makes them personal and collective. Things always seem to reveal themselves in fullness to me “after” I complete the design. I only trust what I’m being guided to create when I’m creating, getting abstract essence hits on the meaning, but it is when I am done with a portion of it, and then again when it is completely done, and I sit back and look at what has channeled, that I receive that a-ha moment, smile, chuckle, shake my head and say, “Wow, I get it.”

Here’s some information about this piece’s symbolism, which I shared with my client. Sometimes I delve deeper to help people see what is possible to incorporate in complex layers embedded within these sacred designs, while other times I let them speak for themselves. This is one of the deeper times. 🙂

The main elements incorporated into the design are Tara, Hummingbird, Butterfly, Bee, Stag, Sea Shell, and Lotus. The way in which the style came through was a combination of ethereal, star-like, and an integration that creates an organically cosmic essence both anchoring and ascending, emanating, yet very centered, balanced and all emerging from the wholeness at core.

This portal of her spiritual journey I created comes through the center/heart center of the Lotus, which almost spirals and creates etherically and organically, as it constantly blossoms and emerges, with new petals continually recreating themselves. The Lotus itself I also created as a Lotus “Star” (cosmic flower), almost like an Infinity Star, and also has the quality of the life giving source of the Sun with its energy emanating in powerful grace. This came into play with a special name my client had been given that personifies her and her constantly evolving journey with it and is the core essence of this piece. And so too the Lotus is one that is constantly creating itself the way I designed it…think a kaleidoscope and peering in to see the Lotus transforming. That’s how I was seeing it and capturing it in a drawing.

The Lotus itself is a powerful and ancient image symbolizes harmony, spiritual illumination and unlimited potential. The lotus is a type of water lily which rises from the sludge of muddy waters and opens into a beautiful flower. It is often used as a mandala, or circular symbol, but any way you use the Lotus in a spiritual practice, it will provide a resonant field that reinforces the concept of resurrection. Human mistakes and challenges are the fertilizer for brilliance and awakened creation as the Lotus shows us. Born in the murkiest of ponds, Lotus still emerges pure. Use the Lotus as a reminder that “this, too, shall pass.” Be assured that all fertilizer nurtures a beautiful new life. In the greater world, Lotus is a peaceful cosmic beacon for forgiveness, gratitude and compassion to prevail where the sludge of conflict has resided. Using this symbol on water invites a balance between humility and pride.

Each of the animal spirit guides are at the corners of the Lotus and because they are emerging as spirit guide wisdom are there supportively when needed as a presence that moves in and out of dimensional existence. They came through more ethereal and with creative energy, so you see them as uniquely designed to represent that creative power to come through abundantly and manifesting from nothing into vision and like energy just emerging into creation. The Bee I did a bit more tangibly, as I felt that some of the elements are in process of creatively materializing and some are materialized, and others just simply are present always in essence.

The Deer spirit guide came through as a Stag and its design is almost cosmic in nature. It is in the right diagonal bottom corner. He is graceful and confident, looking up and beyond. Deer symbolism includes, but is not limited to love, grace, gentleness, kindness, compassion, innocence, peace, beauty, fertility, femininity, humility, swiftness, acceptance, regrowth, renewal, creativity, spirituality, psychic power, subtlety, higher connection, awareness, abundance, benevolence, watchfulness, and is associated with the moon, the dawn, and the easterly directions. The stag in particular symbolizes the same, but includes masculinity (which brings balance), regeneration, guidance, healing, connection to the Earth and forest, alertness, pride, independence, purification, strength, and nobility.

Then there is the Butterfly at the top right above him. It came through in an Asian motif emerging from the Lotus. The Butterfly is a symbol of joy and longevity as well as are messengers of powerfully transformative healing and regenerative energy and symbolism to the indigenous peoples across time. They symbolize the precious miracle of life, hope, love, transmutation, magick, reincarnation – to the Maya, butterflies are seen as ancestors returning for a visit to physicality and have a very earth and cosmic bridging connection (ex: the galactic butterfly symbol – Hunab Ku powerfully broadcasts your reaching to actively join the consciousness of our galaxy), resurrection, transition, communication, celebration, lightness, time, soul, unquestioning embrace, freedom, keeping the faith, grace.

Then there’s the Hummingbird at the top left corner emerging. It came through in a henna-like, mehndi design. The Hummingbird symbolizes timeless joy and the Nectar of Life, as well as a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.

At the bottom left corner is the Bee, which symbolizes understanding female warrior energy, connection to the Goddess Diana, reincarnation, communication with the dead, helping earth-bound spirits move on to their proper place (work that you have been involved with that has been challenging energetically), concentration, prosperity, fertility, and sexuality. The Bee is also a symbol for accomplishing the impossible and anything you put your mind to, as aerodynamically its body is too large for its wings and should not be able to fly. The Bee reminds you to extract the honey of life (that empowerment of fun, joy, opening your heart to the epitome of love and life and to life fully and uninhibitedly). The Bee also makes our lives fertile with ideas, creativity, and productivity with the promise of fulfillment if we pursue our dreams. Its honeycomb, a hexagon, is the symbol of the heart and represents the sweetness of life found within your own heart and is also the symbol of the sun and its energies. The Bee reminds you to savor the honey of life, do all you can do to make your life fertile and examine your life to make it more efficient and supportive. The Bee also is a strong symbolism of the circle of life and balance that they create, as such an important part of our ecosystem.

Interestingly, this last weekend while hiking (during the process of channeling this design), we had come upon a bunch of bees and were watching them amongst the flowers, as well as a bunch of ants that were traveling across the trail carrying things to their nest. It made me ponder about the powerful symbolism and message these little beings have for life that we could learn from that would assist in creating a new paradigm. I reflected on the way they live with no concept of definitions between work and play, just “being” and with the focus of the greater good through every act they do on their own. It is all connected and they don’t see any separation. And I watched as they helped each other and all was about supporting the Source, building together, nurturing and being part of the collective tapestry.

So there is a lot of balance in the design, not just in the above and below balance you see with Tara and the Seashell, but also with each of these four corner animal spirit guides and anchored at center, within, and at each outer edge, without.

There is also a mixture of eclectic exotics with the Asian Butterfly motif design, the mehndi Hummingbird, Hindu/Tibetan Tara, cosmic and organic qualities.

I created a leaf and vine design extending up and around Tara from the Lotus and Hummingbird and Butterfly in a Yin/Yang effect of flipping the design on each side for balance. There is some good general information at this link that you can read about Tara: Tara, Goddess of Peace and Protection and especially certain aspects jumped out at me, after I had created the design. Here are some snippets from the link:

“It is told that Tara first appeared rising from a lotus blossom in the lake that had formed from Avalokitesvara’s tears of compassion, tears that fell when he first beheld the scope of suffering in the world.” – interesting how I instinctively depicted Tara rising from the Lotus.

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Another image of the design that was captured near midnight when I had finished it. I loved the “golden” ethereal quality that came through this image

Besides being the Mother Creator, “in Sanskrit, the name Tara means Star, but she was also called She Who Brings Forth Life, The Great Compassionate Mother, and The Embodiment of Wisdom, and the Great Protectress.” – goes along with the Starseed essence, the Lotus Star, and the powerful Divine Feminine Goddess Energy that is integrated into all of this that was desired from my client.

“Tara embodies the feminine strengths of great caring and compassion, the ability to endure stressful and even terrifying moments, the acts of creation, and the source of sustenance and protection. Demonstrating the psychological flexibility that is granted to the female spirit,  the goddess Tara,  in some of her human forms, could be quite fierce and wild. Refugees fleeing the horrors of the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese armies recounted numerous stories of the Green Tara that protected them during their torture and guided their flight to freedom. In other of her forms, such as the White Tara, she embodied inner peace and spiritual acceptance. She symbolizes purity and is thought to be part of every good and virtuous woman. Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom. It is the goddess Tara who helps us to remain “centered”. The myths of the Goddess Tara remind us of our “oneness” with all of creation and the importance of nurturing the spirit within.” – speaks for itself and how she is anchoring the “above” part of the Lotus, guiding and centering the journey and holding that connectedness to everything.

At the bottom is the Sea Shell (a very beautiful, graceful and delicate conch) anchoring in and drawing the energy in balance to the Earth and into the depths within and through the lower Chakras. Sea Shells are symbolic of femininity, birth, regeneration, renewal, expansion, fertility, water, life, love, the Moon, a journey across the sea of life (pilgrim of life), and the Universal matrix (because of their spiral shape) as well as infinity. In China they represent good fortune and good life in the afterworld. In Buddhism the conch represents the voice of Buddha and is said to awaken one from ignorance. In Islam, it represents hearing the Divine Word. In Greece and Rome the conch shell is a symbol of the sea god. In Hinduism it is a symbol of Vishnu as lord or the waters. The Mayans associated the conch with waters and with the sea gods as well. The Sea Shell also represents the unconscious mind and so in its position it helps to uncover, listen to and heart the messages of our shadow parts that are deep within to be discovered and integrated. My client has a connection with the ocean and ocean beings, as well as communicates with the animal world, but for some reason the depiction of a dolphin or whale, did not feel to come through in a literal way. The Sea Shell to me was speaking more loudly and seems to embody and personify all of the beings of the sea, while connecting with the Earth and beyond and is a form of connecting with our inner voice, telepathy, communicating with animals and other beings and people, of sound and sound healing, and the importance of listening within – as when you hold a conch shell to your ear, you can hear the ocean and many messages through it as a way to dial in to the deeper parts of yourself. So the Sea Shell is a way to harness that communication skill at levels only detected by the inner ear.

All of the four elements of Water, Air, Earth, Fire, and Ether/Spirit are symbolically personified and conveyed, as well in the design, and in some ways many of the images overlap with their symbolism, representing more than one element. And the Lotus is like a flowering star and emanating Sun, while also connects that deep feminine divinity of Moon quality essence as well.

There is a passion and fire that comes through etherically in the life giving, creative energy that is pulsating gently and intentfully from this.

The design, in totality, also holds the message of life having infinite possibilities. That you are connected to all the power, wisdom and potential there is. Everything is accessible to you. All of it. Right here and right now. Sometimes we forget this truth and stop dreaming, but this is a reminder of everything that is available to you and awaiting you. A constant reminder of the beauty, power and limitless energy that flows through you to make your world what you desire it to be. There’s something magical about it that empowers you to reach toward your full and unique potential. You are powerful beyond measure “All that is” is within you. The Lotus portal star in center, is the center of wholeness that is you (my client and each of us) and from within you, all things are possible and you are always connected to the abundance of creative potential and Divine Love that is You and All Things.

This design is about 10 1/2” tall by 71/2” wide including the emanating light shaded energy coming off of the design.

I so enjoy being challenged by each unique soul and energy that is coming through. The evolution of designs is mirroring the evolution of energy shifting. I can observe this transformation when I look over the designs I’ve created, seeing the personal and collective changes simultaneously taking place in terms of what we are tapping into.

I really enjoyed worked with the quality of energy from this piece and how it came through in depiction. It is definitely unique, which may seem redundant, as each person’s energy IS different, but this particular vibration was a new octave to tap into. Its organic cosmic essence in a kaleidoscopic depiction of wholeness within constantly transforming creation energies that are perfect in their individual evolution and yet eternally unified in connection, was exciting. And bringing in the Sacred Feminine that is at the heart of our integration potentialities in this way with the essence of something that is shifting and always recreating itself while centered, peaceful and balanced – quite the energy!

If you’d like to see an example of another vegan tattoo conveying a message of compassion, you can find it here: Vegan Sacred Tattoo Design. This design is available if it calls to your heart. 

If you would like to partner in co-creating your own sacred tattoo design to embody the empowerment you desire, you can contact me at

For more information about the process and pricing please visit: What is a Tattoo Design Consultation

Some people have preferred to read my book, Spiritual Skin ~ Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep, especially if they are new to sacred tattoo designs, before embarking on this journey.

If you are drawn to learn more about sacred tattoos you can order a copy of the book here: Spiritual Skin

It is also available in Kindle and PDF formats here: Spiritual Skin

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