Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

New Drum Born December 23, 2014

Filed under: Arts,Shamanic Arts — BrujaHa @ 12:37 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Damien's drum, made by Tina Fields


Please tarry a brief moment – you’ll get a mini-slideshow.

I made this drum for a young man to use while co-leading wilderness Vision Quests.

It is made of pieced pine and deerskin.

His then-sweetie, who purchased its creation as a gift to him, is pictured holding it on my porch before he knew about its existence.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before he had his own drum, Damien MacAnany used Julianne Skai Arbor (“Treegirl”)’s drum, which was also made by me.

Here’s a photo of him using that one for a Youth Vision Quest.



It’s a snapshot from a promo video for the Santa Rosa, CA based Rites of Passage, Inc., for whom Damien works as a guide.

I hope the heartbeat of this drum helps lead many teens home to their true, noble, wild selves.




Full Moon (image by

(The moon is a circle, the earth is a circle, the drum is a circle, we sit in a circle…)


To see more of my drums:

Shamanic Frame Drums

Painted Drum Commission




Painted Drum Commission May 18, 2011

Filed under: Arts,Shamanic Arts — BrujaHa @ 12:34 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This drum was commissioned by a woman who does shamanic healing work.  She chose the images and colors, a 3/4-facing white bird surrounded by four crystals of turquoise with some light purple. The slideshow depicts the last two stages of its creation.

It has a beautiful sound. During its birthing, I watched this drum wake up twice:  first as I tied it, and again when I painted the light in the bird’s eye.

See more of my handcrafted shamanic drums


No Witch Tax November 3, 2010

Elections having just ended here, the outcomes that both please and distress us are naturally on our minds. But even California’s Shakespearean machinations for gleaning shekels from the pockets of the people can’t compare to what just happened in Romania.

According to the AP, the country is desperately seeking new sources of revenue. They’ve raised sales taxes and slashed the wages of public servants (sound familiar?) Nevertheless, the Romanian Senate recently rejected one revenue-enhancing proposal – namely, a proposal to regulate and tax witches and fortune-tellers.

The bill, introduced by by lawmakers Alin Popoviciu and Cristi Dugulescu of the ruling party, would require witches and fortune tellers to produce receipts for their professional services. Wait, there’s more: from now on, they would also be held financially liable for wrong predictions!

A famous Romanian witch, Maria Campina, told the media that practitioners’ erratic income from these endeavors would make record-keeping difficult.

This is likely true. But the bill’s sponsor Popoviciu thinks that the opposition actually arose not out of enforcement concerns but from lawmakers who were afraid of having curses and spells put upon them.

<<<…and Margaret Hamilton’s cackle echoes throughout the land…>>>

Not a bad strategy, eh? Wonder if we could get our corporate raiders to fear spells?


I was first alerted about this newsworthy item by Chuck Shepherd’s most excellent column, News of the Weird. Each month, Shepherd collects legit but odd news items from the mainstream press and offers them as excerpts. (Yes, I did search, and easily confirmed this piece with original sources.) I read NotW in my favorite newspaper, Funny Times, to which I subscribe. Sometimes it comes quite late and rather wrinkled: I suspect that the post office workers are having their way with it before it reaches my box. But that’s okay. They likely need it, and besides, I’m saving my curses for the truly worthy.


Shapeshifting: Masks! October 23, 2010

Who or what would you like to be today?

These are works of art, but not only for passively hanging on the wall.

Each mask is initially made from plaster bandage material molded right on the face of its intended wearer. While anyone can wear them, they fit one person perfectly and are comfortable to wear for hours on end, even while dancing.

I love this half-mask style which allows the wearer to freely speak, drink and eat while keeping it on. They are also cooler this way (temperature-wise, I mean!)

This mask is embellished with feathers of peacock and turkey vulture, acrylic paints, and a found brooch for the 3rd eye.

Water mask

Horse mask


Raven mask.  (This one I made for myself.)






Jaguar mask

This woman was browsing at the Wearable Art Show in Reno, Nevada when she came upon my booth and picked up the Jaguar Mask.

Isn’t her outfit perfect?!

Some things are meant to be.




If you would like a mask of your own, contact me!

Special masks can be great not only for Hallowe’en but also for rites-of-passage rituals at times of life changes, theater pieces, cosplay, Burning Man, science-fiction/fantasy cons, as a documentation of the lovely pregnant belly (belly mask!), shamanic ally work, or mythopoetic play with alter egos in your own psyche.

Also available for group work with adults and teens, and children. I have experience with children as young as first graders as an Artist-in-Residence, with adult community theater troupes, with pagan covens, dancers, and celebrating individuals of all sorts.


Rocksong October 10, 2010


Tonight I go alone

to the Stone-People-Lodge

To the drumming in the lodge

To the people calling, chanting

down the bones of ancient eagles

and the deities of granite near

a pregnant fir tree humming,

offering sap that danced out freely

in the Dreamtime of our mothers

who perceive us in their future

which is Now, as we are waiting

in their lodge of seven colors

like a rainbow bridge of feathers –

insubstantial in our bodies;

only present in our yearnings

in our brayings

in our dreamings; there

our bodies they are gleaming

with the cleansing

and the healing

and the long-awaited joining

with the elder tribal peoples

sister raven

grandma mugwort

So then will come the sound of angels

tying all our lives together

in the falling of their fire

and the raindrops in their wingsong

Burning breathing

smokedeyes squeezing

as the tears release from from spirits

at the deaths of all our baggage

We are joined by silver navel cords

to all of Our Relations

we are dancing in the Moebius strip

of despairing elation

Dance the memory of Realtime

Dance the flow of sap in pine trees

Dancing out of sacred lodges

in the sun,

never alone.


This poem was written to the sound of an internal rattle while waiting for a ride (in a shopping mall, of all places) several hours before I was to go into my first Inipi ceremony with the late Wallace Black Elk. Everything that came in the poem also later came to pass in the tipi.  It was nice of the spirits to provide a program!


High Flying Witch October 6, 2010

A witch flies across the full moon on a broomstick. This is a classic Hallowe’en image; nothing more.

–Or is it?

Note how happy this witch looks. Then look for four entheogenic plants semi-hidden in the design.

Can you identify them?

Some say the use of such plant mixtures is how those witches, our European ancestors, actually went ‘flying.’  The broomstick provided a handy applicator of the “flying ointment” – a.k.a. witches’ brew? – to the mucous membranes.  (I am not making this up.)

My favorite thing about this drawing is the glee she exhibits. I get so tired of seeing witches depicted as evil, scheming, or just grumpy in their warts. I mean, really. When I was a little kid of nine or so, a teacher asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. The book suggested things like “nurse” and “fireman.” I wrote in “Philosopher. And witch.”

Silently flying out of the window at night by moonlight, knowing the world’s unknowable secrets, casting spells, healing people with wild materials free for the taking, talking with ravens?! Yee-haw! It’s good to be a witch.



And now, a shameless plug:

If you like this image and think, “wow, I sure wish this was a card! I’d love to send it to my witchy friends,” you’re in luck. I currently have an extremely limited edition of notecards featuring this image available for sale — 34 14, to be exact. Amaze, enchant, or horrify your friends with this esoteric knowledge in visual form!

The cards measure 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ and are blank inside, awaiting your own message.  Price: $3.50 each plus postage. Optional: Have the cards inscribed with a brief, personalized hand-calligraphed message of your choosing, for a mere $1 for up to 9 words (not including “antidisestablishmentarianism” or anything in Welsh.) Postage discount will be given for bulk purchases sent to one address – I’ll only charge what I’m paying. Or if you’re local, come on over and pick them up. Not only do you avoid postage costs, but I’ll make you a cup of hot brewed tea.

* Please contact me directly to order:  tfields8 [at] *

If you’d like this same design on a t-shirt or mug, you can get them via CafePress.

A single-color version of this original pen-and-ink drawing was the official t-shirt design for the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness conference in Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your interest (or endurance)!


Animal Attributes May 17, 2010

As humans, we have many capabilities, some of which we mistakenly seem to think set us apart from the matrix of other beings; yet other animals, our elders, possess interesting capabilities as well. Yearning after these too, we’ve applied what Janine Benyus termed “biomimicry” in order to create airplanes, scuba gear, velcro, and many more very useful and fun tools.

Over the years, I have enjoyed asking my friends, students, and random acquaintances made at bus stops and the like,

“If you could add three attributes to yourself

from the animal, plant, or mineral kindoms,

what would they be?”

Not surprisingly, most people choose attributes of other animals, even though photosynthesis is among the coolest abilities around, seeing as how a being with that can bypass the entire messy business of eating and shitting in favor of simply extracting the body’s needs straight from loafing around in sunlight (aaahhhhh!)

Personally, if I had the chance to add three new attributes, I’d choose wings, gills, and soft, waterproof fur like a beaver’s. That way, I could go anywhere I liked, exploring and feeling at home in any realm – on land, up in the air, or underwater – and still be warm.


Here are a few more of my own and others’ choice attributes, some of which begin to sound like superpowers:

  • wings (feathered like a bird, or leathery like a bat)
  • night vision
  • antlers
  • piercing sonic shrieks
  • limb regeneration (the ability to grow parts back), like a lizard or starfish
  • bioluminescence
  • three stomachs, like ruminant animals such as cattle
  • reproduction by spores, like mushrooms
  • a tail, to flick or hang from
  • immovability of a rock; the ability to sit and just erode
  • labradorescence
  • photosynthesis
  • eyesight of a raptor
  • twitch muscles of a cheetah
  • sticky feet
  • fur  (what sort? what color?)
  • feet that can turn around backwards, like a squirrel
  • dolphin-like swimming/breath holding/pressure resistance
  • the ability to jump and balance like a cat
  • the quivery alertness of prey animals
  • a dog’s acute sense of smell
  • the agility & balance of a mountain goat
  • the ability to change genders throughout one’s lifetime, like a clownfish. (My friend Judy Pratt asks, “Wonder how our gender struggles would even out with a bit more experience of the supposed “other”???”)
  • hermaphroditism, like a banana slug

My eminently practical friend Alan Winston says, “There are some attributes I’d really like to be able to summon when I want them, but which’d be inconvenient the rest of the time. Wings (and supporting musculature and lung size, etc. to make them functional for flight rather than merely decorative) would make it pretty hard to sit in cars.”  I was going along with that, laughing, when I suddenly realized, if you had honking great wings, why would you *need* a car?! Emissions problems solved!


We are clearly not the first to yearn after these things, as witnessed by these ancient shapeshifting sculptures from Europe, the antlered man on the Gundestrup Cauldron and the bas-relief of Lilith with owl feet and wings, both surrounded by related allies of other species.

What attributes would YOU like to add,

should the Sudden-Evolution Wish Fairy appear?

Feel free to respond in the comment box below!


– Of course, this may go both ways. Sometimes the nonhuman relatives might wish for our attributes (as well as our cuisine):