Category Archives: Artistic Musings

How do you know if they are “real”?

I Give Them Voices (24 x 24)
                   I Give Them Voices

The messages?  How do you know if they are indeed “real”?  That they are from God, Spirit, your guides or whatever you believe in?  And, when it is coming from your head?

Sundays seem to be my days to ponder those sort of questions….It’s something I have been mulling around in my head and heart the past few days.

This is MY answer.  The way that I know that the messages I receive are authentic.

I dated a shaman for three years.  I accompanied him a lot on his healing journeys.  There was a man that was in the process of “crossing over” (Or however you want to say it), and he (the shaman) asked me to participate in helping the man make his journey in a good, and peaceful way.  “Larry” was breathing in a way, that let us all know that he was close.  When he would stop taking breaths, everyone would say – be at peace, etc etc.   I was an observer.  I knew no one present, except for the shaman.

Before I knew it, I felt a presence next to me.


omg – wtf?????


lord god – seriously???

“Will you tell them that I want to do this in my own way, my own time, without anyone present?”

what does one say to that sort of request?



I promise.

I waited.

Because, well, I wasn’t sure.  Did he really ask me to communicate with his family?  And, I was afraid to make a fool of myself.


lord god, he was back.

“You promised.”

He showed me a crane, with an old antique green truck hanging from the crane with an American Flag below it.

And then, he was gone.

Deep breath.

“Was ‘Larry’ the sort of guy that did things on his own time?”


I gave them the message.

Everyone left.

I told my friend what he showed me.

He died that night…all alone….just like he wanted it.

We went to the funeral….on a huge estate in Taos.

After finding a parking place, we walked to the well manicured very expansive lawn where the service was being held.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

I couldn’t breathe.

I looked at my friend – and he said – very quietly – “I was wondering when you would see it.”

On the lawn was a firetruck.

With the ladder extended.

With a flag hanging from the top.

And down below – the pickup.  Same color, same make and model that “Larry” had showed me.

Any time, I receive the messages, they come in the same way.  Not really in my mind, although, of course, it has to be used to process it into words.  It’s a feeling – a knowing – intuition.

It’s deeper and higher, everything and nothing.   It’s the space between the seconds.  When I doubt – they give me confirmation – a phone call from a friend – talking about parts of my message.  A meme posted on social media. A critter who’s totem message is similar to the one I received.

Oh sure, I go back into my head  – I’m human, after all…But, for the most part, I have faith.

You see, I’m not so different from those who are religious – they have faith – faith in something bigger than themselves.

May we walk together as one.





A$$hole comment….

Yada, Yada, Yada (24 x 24)….and I knew it.  It hit a deep wound.  And I knew it.  I responded, even though I knew exactly what was going on.  I couldn’t help myself.

I have a new soft shell (I’m a Cancer) that I have recently grown.  I’m vulnerable – hell, we all are – when we are trying on something new and stepping into who we are.  It takes a SHIT TON of courage to do this work.  I’m not just speaking for myself, I’m saying this for all of us!

And, I know anytime that we choose to put our authentic selves out there that it’s risky.  We open ourselves up to criticism, and we know it’s coming, but we do it anyway.  BECAUSE WE HAVE TO.

I can’t speak for others, but, I think I can give a voice to artists…at least those who are going outside of their comfort zone, and being authentic to who they are, and painting what their soul is begging them to paint.

As an artist, what we paint – for the most part – is who we are.  It’s our emotional being on canvas.  It’s our soul expressing itself.  It’s very difficult to separate who we are from what we do.   I think that most artists feel this way.

I have a pretty tough shell when it comes to constructive criticism….like – you need more darks, more contrast, the composition is a bit wonky, etc etc.  I actually welcome CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.  I always open to learning.  As most of us are.

But I am not open to this:  “This painting is awful.  It looks like Dolly Parton on a bad hair day on drugs.”

And then he went on to compare me to James Bama, who is a great, VERY traditional artist, and does not paint in my style at all.   He paints the seen.  I paint the unseen.  The visions, the messages.

There is no comparing.

He couldn’t paint what I paint…but, I can still paint traditionally.

I responded and first of all said – “Thank God, not all of us like the same art. And I’m grateful that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

And then, a reaction, “Didn’t your mother teach you if you couldn’t say anything nice, then say nothing at all?”

He continued….with a lot more condescending rhetoric….that pushed every single button, all my wounding, all my doubts and fears.

Delete and ban.

I’m not sharing this with you for you to get on the “f*** him” bandwagon.

I’m sharing it, because we can choose to allow it to affect us, or we can delete and ban. It happens to all of us who are stepping up and into who we are.  Our intuition is strong.  Our desire to be ourselves is strong.  Our passion about our paths is even stronger.

I don’t know this man…but, I suspect that he is unhappy.  And that is not my problem.  I can choose to let him affect me (and, I have got to admit – it did – a bit more than a bit), or I can know that I am just not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea.

Still learning those never ending lessons….as you know….they keep circling around (and give me GREAT blog fodder!!)

May we walk together as one


PS…I’ll bet he hates Georgia and Jackson too…#just sayin




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Raven Shaman