Healing Rites of the Archaic Solstice: Water Rites & Magical Flower Crowns

Fern Eyes Russian woman by Elsa Mora

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain
– This weekend we did ceremony of our ancestral Polish Midsummer (Kupala) Flower “Crowns” and “Water Rites.” We started off by gathering the local wildflowers on our hike and bringing them to life with a sacred ritual. I have a great love for water & fire rituals and doing them in the ancient dreaming ways. The day of the “solstice and equinox” each year, are the strongest energy releases of the seasonal year, because they are nature’s season of change… and ours!

Summer Solstice Ceremony of Flower Crowns and Water Rites…

Brandi, Lulu and myself, headed to Lake Emigrant to make our crowns, as the month of the Summer Solstice soon approaches. The where we live, is surrounded by the Siskiyou Mountains, the coastal mountain range of the Klamath basin in northwestern California and the southwestern parts of Oregon. Most people around the world are familiar with this area because of the famous Pacific Crest Trail.

We started our journey late in the morning taking our hike around the lake to collect wild roses for Brandi, who was to make her Rose-Hydrosol. I began the Kupala flower “Crown” ceremony (in Polish we call it the Wianki Feast of Wreaths). I explained what each part of the gathering of the flowers meant, what each round of tying the flowers in a circle meant, adding our sacred intention. 

We enjoyed the beautiful day and after we were finished partially with the crowns, we hiked further and gathered different flowers to add to the crown. Once we finished, and had enough wild rose petals gathered, we headed back to Elder Mountain.

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I really wanted for all three of us to jump into the lake to submerge ourselves into the healing waters but we didn’t have our towels but next year we will! We finished and headed back and once back, Brandi started making her rose-hydrosol, as we ate lunch and had a good long healing conversation around everyday issue. I brought counsel with wisdom and some practices and solutions, and were finished by dusk.

When twilight arrived, it was time to go to the magical pond, where our sacred Marzanna sits for three months and we burn her effigy on the spring equinox. Now there months later in the cyclical or progressional seasonal rites, we offered our sacred wreaths (crown of flowers) to the pond to receive (not love or marriage proposals as in traditional Kupala festivals which is the Dionysus cult tradition of the post 12th century) but a more ancient tradition.

A ceremony of something positive from our intentions weaving ten thousand years of flower circles connected to not just maidens like Kupala, but the shamanic rites of maidens, mothers, adult women, grandmother, spiritual elder women and our millions of years of ancestors. This ceremony on its healing side is to face and work with a personal fear (struggle)

The tossing of the flower crown into the life giving waters is the action to then receive when we begin to do the healing work, a summer blessing for the entire three moons of summer. A small manifestation for emotional health, interpersonal peace and expressing our true nature with the importance of sharing our truth in real and personal ways. We honored our journey as maidens, adult and elder women of our life in the ceremony – which honors our ancestors who came before us.

Since my work as a shaman (mol’farka, folk healer and whisperer) involves ancient dreaming rites with sacred ceremony only on the solstices and equinoxes, it was time to end our day and go to the sacred dream, as sometimes I lead a shamanic magical journey for the night parts of Kupala (Noc Kupala, non plant/drug shamanism of course). I asked Brandi and Lulu to set a sacred intention for their dream that night, of something they needed to know to be brought forth from their inner dreamer (once they got to the yurt). Each one did have a significant dream, and we discussed it in the morning and went over the symbolism for its fortune telling or oracular wisdom. We chatted over breakfast and I gave counsel on the symbolism and this completed our ceremony as the twilight of dawn had returned.

From left to right: Brandi, Lulu and Phoenix, 3 Polish Spiritual Sisters.

Healing Waters & Fire, Solstices & Equinoxes…

When I speak of healing in any equinox or solstice ceremony that I lead, which are four times a year in ceremony, I mean the dedication to the self to overcome one’s struggles connected to our unconscious shadows. These are our obstacles (through the practices of self respect, self love, emotional compassion, boundaries, etc) and the rituals that are focused with intent for that accomplishment with the seasons of mother earth.

When I speak of spiritual healing, I mean the dedicated actions of spiritual practices, disciplines and holistic healing (energy work, rebirthing, energy movement releases, inner child work for the forty and older, spiritual martial arts, meditation, vision quests, etc) that support our real healing journey.

Combing these two of healing and spiritual healing, helps us grown in a very slow and steady each moon cycle to build a solid foundation. These are what the origins of Kupala were, now they are more social gathering (celebration or festival) and their seeds of pagan origins are of marriage. As a baba, I help others work with the increased self awareness which brings much consciousness into the healing (of our fears and shadows, our self sabotage, our guilt. anxiety, drama etc.)

The Slavic celebration of Kupala is both a fire and water ceremony, but it wasn’t always that way in the pre-pagan indigenous traditions of summer, it was only the sacred water ceremony. Since fire and water elements are the eternal, the mystical and the cyclical, “water rites” are moon mysteries of moisture, mother and memories from our pre-pagan grandmothers rituals and their shamanic indigenous rites.

Mother energy rules the summer solstice, but pagan rites of the Dionysus cult gave summer to the Maidens along with the Church father to marry her off, for a single woman has already been established by the church, that they are nothing but trouble without a husband. Grandmother, is the last part of the sacred trinity of the seasonal rites, and rules Autumn and Winter rites.

Fern Eyes Russian woman by Elsa Mora 2The World River is very different than the World Tree symbolism. It clearly points out in women’s mysteries weaving in the water symbolism of her emotional life and the soul’s journey of all humanity of ocean proportions. These includes the myths and folk stories of the mermaid, the moisture of fertility with the earths fertility, the nymphs, the cloud mothers or rain goddesses, thunder and lightning goddess and fire’s relationship to water… all pouring down from the sacred mountain. Desert peoples have their own high plateaus and water rites as well, just like more moist areas of fertile mountains and rivers.

Water is the emotional element needed in the Season of Fire (Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice) and Fire is the warmth and purification element needed in the Season of Night (Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice). These were the balanced “elements” of an older origin rituals of grandmother. Water as a symbol, is the life force of emotional complexity, not the life blood, but the blood of the menses, and the awareness to be in awareness with our hidden souls. Water is also the soothing and nurturing element, which has been used in healing rites, folk healing, and dreaming rites of summer solstice times since before time.

Water rites are born from moon medicines and the lunar rites which are nature’s principles and enter the realms of the giant rivers and oceans, rain and thunderstorms. In regular ceremony, its the intention, actions and symbolism that is most important that connects us emotionally and setting that tone. The emotional connections, release of sharing emotional pain and tears and the support of her moisture for releases, her watery life force and even her powerful storms all apart of the water rites.

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Fire elements when working in shaman’s rituals of purification are much more dangerous as a purification rite, then celebratory paganism or pagans festivals. In the Slavic tradition they use the pagan festival cults of maidens and add the Fire element, called Sobótki in Polish meaning the feast of bonfires. “Fire Rites” in this sense is for ambiance and enacting old rites without their purification.

Originally or pre-pagan rites of grandmothers and shaman grandmothers, fire was only used in the winter solstice ceremonies because of the nature of the winter and the underworld (not the dead) but dead aspects of the self for purification in the act. Very rare Slavs and Balkans use fire in this way, and they can only be done in small circles, not large party events or gathering festivals. The physical fires are included in winter solstice rites, but also the non-physical aspects of fire, call our relationship to spirit (and I am not speaking of human) but the relationship to the mystery of nature. Fire acts as a bridge.

Most Slavic and even Polish celebrations like Kupala (summer) or Marzanna (winter) are devoid of such kinds of healing rites and are “social” or more “gathering celebrations.” When I work with the power of the energy of earth in my rituals, its the strongest during the solstice and equinox, the healing is the strongest and without a healing rite or ceremony the years and decades even are lost to tap into that magical energy of “healing or soul rituals.”

When I speak in terms of the solstice and equinox rites of the archaic, I am speaking of global changes that influenced cultures and much of the old pre-pagan cultural rites were destroyed by the Dionysus Cult, as these were the Soul rites. The Spirit rites rites are the elemental aspects of the bonds of the mystical connection (fire) with the soul (water) and the ethereal dreaming (non physical reality) into memory, remembrance and memories which surrounds us.

The healing rites when in a sacred circle creates the movement or action of energy of the wind spirits, which starts at the time of the ritual, will carry into an entire three moon cycle (one season) after a ceremony such as Kupala done this way. During those cycles (three months) our life force of fire (spirit) will appear in some small way, but one must pay attention very closely for the medicine. 

My beautiful home
Emigrant Lake where we collected our flowers and made our Crowns (right side of the lake).

Why we do the folk healing work this way at Elder Mountain…

8e2b1365af7fb801b109886be3c99d05The guardian spirits have showed me many things in the sacred imagery and lineages of soul visuals projections called dreaming awake, and its nature I speak of (not human guardians). We set intention, we accept personal responsibility for our health and we practice purity and if all three are present together in the ceremony, real magic and healing happens.

The legendary Magical Fern is a pagan legend of Poland, of the flower of immortality but the older aspects of this magical rite, is called the Vesta which is an initiation process for the ancient or current shamans (folk healers to varying degrees) of the Slavic peoples. It is a quest and initiation but it cannot be found in a real sense as a flower until one has penetrated the veils into the expanded consciousness in order to access it. The journey is fated, and the finding of it comes with great tests for women, a great struggle and pain.

All healing occurs with the balance of purification and that is painful, to try to subdue that pain, emotional pain, mental or relationship pain only prolongs a crisis situation to burst forth. So small healing ceremonies were set up by the pre-pagan grandmothers to work on them in small pieces at a time so no crisis would end in despair, great loss and all the other things people must suffer in modern times (post 10th century). 

I work with the Season of Night and the Season of Fire (earth’s natural release of energy)  and focus on folk healing rites and those way of ceremony which is smaller, more personal and intimate of the archaic shamanism past. The purpose is to focus on healing and keeping water in summer traditions and keeping fire in the winter traditions to maintain intuitive health, dreaming vitality and visionary powers at much higher levels along with nature. Fire in summer dries and scorches the land and water in winter ceremonies becomes frozen and not applicable. I chose to learn from nature and the nature guardians rather than human traditions, but that is why I am a dreamer (shaman). 

When we align with oppositions of elements and add sacred ceremony of purity (fire), the fullness of the ceremony can bloom forth, both the celebratory with the healing rites in  emotional work (water) is the summer seasons, for all women, maiden and some soul-filled men, not just maidens. Kupala is a fun and a celebratory community gather and that is beautiful for fun and connection for what is left of the original medicines.

Blessings on the …

Summer Solstice on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm
First New Moon of SummerFriday, June 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm.
(pacific time)

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Daughters of the Earth!

To read more about the Traditional Kupala of Poland (post 12th century modern pagan rites) go to Lamus Dworski article on her wordpress @ https://lamusdworski.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/midsummer

Illustration: “Fern Eyes” by Elsa Mora; photos by Brandi!


Dream Springs


As a healer I am extremely devoted to my own healing, an organic life, emotional work, that has freed my soul, everyday for the last twenty-five years. I commit to this in order to walk my talk and set an example that this lifestyle (a life without medicine, antibiotics, doctors, hospitals etc.) required and still requires dedication, responsibility and hard work. 

Even today, after decades of healing, its no difference, for the last 3 years I have had some unusual weight gain for no reason, because my lifestyle did not change. I am though, still in my 2nd Saturn return and anything of course is possible. My legs have been hurting and cramping and so a year and a half ago, I upped my work outs, had already been totally organic and gluten free and committed to it weekly. Nothing was changing, so I had even given up all wheat and by-products and all dairy, I had done vegan during my vision quest years but that didn’t require wheat abstinence.  And still no change in the weight gain, it was odd.

With my waking synchronicity and signs getting worse by the day in my path over the last three months especially, I was seeing people in wheel chairs everywhere I went everyday and the mourning dove 10 hours a day cooing outside and knew it was critical although I was doing everything possible. I had been used to mourning doves being around in my more intense spiritual suffering of my shamanic initiations and as one of my totem – they mean “internal warnings” where owl is my external warning. But the doves have not been around for twelve years or so. I finally set an intention for my inner Dreamer to reveal both the issue and the solution.  I put on my sacred necklace, a charm with the name Rose on it (both my grandmother’s names) and I drew a sacred Slavic symbol of healing on my left hand and went to go dream… 

The dream that night: I am in a hospital room and a nurse comes in and takes my left hand and says: “you need a saline solution every four hours” then she shoots a needle into the top of my hand and I see bacteria appear, they are tiny, thin, and black and see about 4 of them moving under my skin. I wake up.

I get up and started doing the saline (salt water) solution drinking it every four hours and for the last two days, no more mourning doves, no more wheel chair people around me and no wasps (they were the last to my issue warning). I looked up the bacteria that matched what I saw in my dream, and it said it can came from a few things, but none of them applied except the hot springs. Then immediately I knew where the source was…

Three years ago I went to the upper north Umpqua River Hot Springs and hiked there with my apprentice and thus far it was the most beautiful hot springs I have seen in pictures or having gone to. I could tell that this place had many local and wandering drinkers, drug users and heavy pot smokers, a defined party place and when we got there, the partiers were even drinking and smoking pot in the hot springs itself. 

When I sat in the water that day I could feel it was sick and saturated from years of drugs, pot, alcohol, shamanic drugs usage and the small campground too which we chose not to stay at looked black energetically. I go to hot springs as part of a purifying process for my health because when you rely on no medicines or antibiotics or healthcare as a way of life, one gets pretty good at understanding even the smallest of changes in their body or the environment.

But I went in for an hour anyway and shouldn’t have, because this hidden bacteria entered my body that day and its been causing the weight gain, even though I tried every avenue but the “invisible” one.

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Through the three years and it’s passage of time I was having more issues (six months ago), I developed a knot or large bump on the bottom of my foot and my legs were hurting regardless of what I did to alleviate. So I went to an acupuncturist who said the the knot was sitting in the kidney area and the session relieved some pains in my legs and the bump reduced half the size.

My inner dreamer responded well, as it should because I also dream for my clients, students and apprentices health issues. I have no judgment about the party people, I only make a deeper commitment to be more aware of hot tubs and hot springs now and keep doing what I have learned to do so long ago, love and respect myself with healthy boundaries regardless of what others think or how they respond in negative ways to that… in fact the whole world responds in negative ways, but has much compassion for physical sickness only. I have great compassion for all three, emotional, mental and physical issues.

Water is Life!


top part of illustration © by Irina Serban

We Remember

Lyrics for The Big Dream (Moby reversion) by David Lynch feat. Mindy Jones

Love is the name in the wind
the wind blows through
the trees and stars
we make a wish
to be together

This night
when we dream
we’ll remember
when we dream

the big dream
the time has come.

Marzanna – Spring 2017

Our Elder Mountain’s video of the “Burning of Marzanna”, its a little long! Marzanna was put into the Magical pond here and she burned very rapidly, intense and fast this year, compared to last year. It was as if a wind whirl came, but there was hardly any wind to fuel the fire at that intensity. I then hung a Russian decorated Egg on our life tree afterwards… Spring is here and let the New Year (mother earths) year begin!

If you join us next year in making your Marzanna, the instructions are here and let us know your making one:



Slavic & Balkan Traditions: Marzanna (Polish), Morė (Lithuania), Morana (Czech, Bulgaria, Slovene, Serbian, Bosnia, Croatia), Morena (Slovak, Macedonia), Maslenitsa (Russia), Mara (Belarus, Ukraine), Maržena, Moréna, Mora or Marmora is a Baltic/Slavic goddess of the seasonal rites of death and rebirth of nature and woman. All prehistory goddesses associated with Grandmother stage of Winter’s death, then the rebirth of dreams and Maiden and Mother’s stages of Kostroma, Lada and Vesna represents Spring.

Sleep & Dream are Sisters who Communicate with each other

Lucid & Sober Dreaming

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain –
The word Lucid, in the 1500s was written down and meant a person who was “bright and shining” a sense that is now obsolete or restricted.  Lucid comes from the Latin word lucidus meaning “light” “bright” and “clear” and figuratively from lucere “to shine” from lux (genitive lucis) and “light” from its root *leuk- “to shine and be bright.” It was marked though early on and lost its Soul context from then on and within 200 years, the new meanings of Lucid was then referred to as intellectual clarity, first recorded in 1786.

This was the new context of Lucid in intervals of the “period of calm or temporary sanity” which is from the Medieval Latin lucida intervalla (plural), common in medieval legal documents (non est compos mentis, sed gaudet lucidis intervallis, etc.). The notion probably meant a period of calm and clear before the insanity or the storm hits in legal matters.

After the 1930s it was and still is referred to an unstable state of being that is associated with being (high) or mental issues associated with medications that have strong drugs effects. Recently after the 2000s its now associated with “dream/drugging” and the false visions especially from the uses of shamanic drug/plants and pot which nowadays, has superpowers from streamlined genetic organic altering when growing.

My job as a dreamer (shaman) is to let dreamers know that Illusions are the most difficult part of dreaming and as a teacher I align with the serious dreamers who seek disciplines, groundedness and self healing as a path along with sobriety. My friend Steve who follows these blogs wrote me today with an excellent Dylan song he felt was appropriate and I agreed …

“There’s a white diamond gloom
on the dark side of this room
and a pathway that leads
up to the stars.

If you don’t believe there’s a price
for this sweet paradise, remind me
to show you the scars.”

Nobody out there is teaching sobriety dreaming, but to advance in real dreaming, its impossible without sobriety, otherwise you only reach the first gate and never move beyond the illusion tests (which means you think your dreaming at greater levels when you are not). Drugs and shamanic drugs (plants) only distort illusion layers, but the dreamer believes that they are outside the box of projection dreaming (when they are not). This is why Illusion work in dreaming must match real and personal illusions of our ordinary life that we carry as people in family life, our relationships, our challenges.

The last time many people have been purely sober was before they turned 14 years old and so getting pure is a very difficult journey in itself. I also work with those who are finished with the accumulated negative side-effects of drug/plant visioning because their personal life gets and stays erratic and chaotic from such paths, especially after they enter their 40s.  I teach by example that clarity and the shining path (lucid) of spirituality, is much more advanced when we are clear, both in our personal lives and relationships (emotional body) and our advancements in all the levels of dreaming.

When it comes to dreaming and lucidity, I use the word Lucid in its original meaning of light and in the metaphysical terms, a process of using our ability to “image” as a dream practice from sobriety and clarity to become much more advanced than our brothers and sisters who dabble in illusion causing substances (like dmt, shamanic plant-drugs, pot, alcohol, medications etc).

I am referring to the ability to not only live the waking life clear and sober but enter the sober clarity of our soul’s “imagination” which is a process of taking what does not exist (the non-physical reality) and make it reality or become the great observer. This can be applied to baking a cake or building a bridge in the physical world and it can be applied to lucid dreaming and dreams in the energetic world (emotional energy, feelings, etc and our soul energy world where we dream). Its all the same principles and practices and they do cross over, bridge crossing I call it.


The first rule of metaphysics is:

“Whatever you focus on… expands” and this is also true for Lucid Dreaming. One technique to help lucidity increase in the natural non-drug, non-shamanic way, is sitting quietly in a daily meditation, looking at a peaceful image of nature (or sitting in nature in the practice), along with putting a natural organic scent on (that you only use for this practice). Its a daily practice of saturation of both visuals and sensory. I have seen it take some people 4 years of this daily practice to flex the intuitive and dreaming soul body, for others, its a much shorter time. Some have used mirror to see the self, instead of an image of nature.

There is “no time” in dreaming and its wise to set aside mind-body teachings when trying to work with dreaming in this context. We actually have to learn and practice no-time (no schedules, no alarm clocks, flexible lifestyles) in order to advance. I think so many people have not given themselves any time to dream in their life, but anything worth mastering in life is always done slowly, grounded (one step in front of the next) and focused with clarity (lucid) and hard work of dedication. Same too for many levels of dreaming.

Eventually with enough practices, the mind-body will become peaceful, enough to let go, so the dreaming soul can speak and it speaks in its “living” reality of waking or night dreaming, but its very subtle, that is why sobriety and clarity is needed. Our emotional & soul body is not given much attention by ordinary people who like to keep busy all the time – but for some of us, its very important to give quality our intuitive nature along with sobriety, to be “clear and bright” in our daily spiritual life.

At small levels this is called trusting your intuition, at greater levels its called Lucid Dreaming. The trick of course is consistency and the practices of learning to expand and accepting this natural part of our inner life. Some practice this naturally with nature, like long hikes in the mountains, others do a more intense version like vision quests. Artists also do it through their daily or weekly art-making, but those who are serious go beyond all of those because they understand its about their soul nature.


Some do these practices for emotional health’s well being which adds inner power beyond the will, to overcome old behaviors that have become so automatic over ten or twenty years. Behaviors like worry, stress, anxiety, mental blocks etc. which become very difficult to change, without the power of the soul. The first holistic rule is: “We cannot heal anything that we are not aware of.” Lucidity on any levels, waking or dreaming, helps us become aware of what we need to heal within.

Addictions are addictions and as a healer, I always suggest those who are under the “spells” of illusion causing substances, seek help, get massages, find a sober healer and begin to take care of your addiction without shame or judgment. We get one life this lifetime, try not to waste all of your senses by dulling them with such things, they might just save your life someday.




Sobriety Dreaming

Dreaming is a lifelong self mastery, one which takes patience& practice to understand what one is experiencing at what levels of illusions and projections. There is much more to dreaming than astral travel or the beginner stage called lucid dreaming. In the waking life, bigger is better, more is better, desire is good, but the opposite is true in dreaming. Quality is better and emotional intelligence to sensor and weed out disturbances and disruptions.

This is done by working with our real personal emotional issues along side our companion dreaming life. One dream a month which you understand deeply and apply, is better tha00 dreams that have no great meaning a year later. Dreaming falls into three basic categories: 1. Escapism or Fantasy (dreaming in Illusion); 2. Control (thinking that control over your dream means advancement or power); and 3. Healing. Almost all people cannot advance unless they get over 1 and 2.


When you enter your dreams, you enter a mirror reality and Silence in Soul dreaming. With the Mental body dreamer you enter a mirror or a busy or unhealthy life or unhealthy past life reflected. If you enter simple dreaming you enter none of these, but rather, tasks reflected in your waking life. For example if you think  ving a gun means power or protection then guns will appear a lot as a symbol in your dreams. If you are obsessive compulsive about cleaning in the waking life, then your cleaning in your dream life. Breaking cycles or advancing in dreaming, requires a relationship to yourself in this life, as most powerful dreamers are Empaths, not Intuitives and must understand that boundaries are extremely important in both realities.

We look at dreaming as only a mirror that you are experiencing and reflecting in your mundane life. When karmic dreaming approaches, it blows the hell out of mundane dreaming and a person maybe trusted into the wrath. Those of us who mastered mirror dreaming and mirror work in waking life side by side advance. All other forms of dreaming such as astral dreaming, lucid dreaming, oobs and even gate dreaming remain empty without the commitment to your “own soul” for she calls you every night and you do  not hear her. We know the secrets and do not give them freely to anyone, they must be earned with self respect and patience.

Perception dreaming of the soul has consequences, which those generally under 35 or 40 will not experience nor grasp or comprehend because they cannot dream at this level. Be patient with your soul, the mind and its mental body dreamer does not listen to her, for she cannot speak, she is silent, she speaks only in imagery. Only the mental body dreamer hears sounds and voices in dreams (unless one hears only the self in clairaudi0 forms) and that is in waking or night dreaming. The soul dreamer is always silent and can only speak with imagery and feeling.  Any activity like pot, wine, drugs, shamanic plants (drugs) once a month or every few month will fragment, interfere and dilute the soul dreamer body and your mind in waking or dreaming won’t even know.

Those of us who are lifetime dedicated by fate as dreamers, and mastered lucid and out of bodies know the benefits of sobriety, you will not know until you first get 100% sober for at least 7 years, which increases your safety in dreaming for your soul dreamer. Try it, you will also feel better and relieve depression that drugs and alcohol create, by feeling 50% better within the first six months. Dreaming and health go together like fish in water.

Phoenix the Dreamer