To remove any encumbrance. State of being free. Release from imprisonment. Ease of movement. Choose action freely.  Independence. Know that there is an energy shift in your favor. Obstacles no longer need to stay in the way. Simply acknowledge their removal.

Release yourself from obligation. If you look closely, most of it is self-inflicted anyway. Chose to free yourself. Claim your power. Reclaim your independence. Exercise your free will in the situation. A time when the usual laws of constriction do no apply. Things may move easily for you now.

A time to look clearly at what or who has bound you. What is holding you back? Take steps to let it go. Unbind yourself- the time is right. A very powerful energy. Hindrance and obstacles are at a low- there is no need to be in opposition.-Juliet Hubbs in the Universal Cards.

Dear Ellen today would have been your 61st birthday. Did you hear me listening to the two wonderful shamanic women talking about taking people to Peru?

Did you show up because I was beating myself up for being all ’emo’ and wounded?

I went deep yesterday, made a couple SoulCollage® cards. Started laughing when I cleaned out my purse and found the little stone frog you gave me on your last journey to Peru. I miss you, yet I know you are close because I hear you laughing even as I write this. honor of your life and the legacy that lives within all of your circle I am sharing our story.

Written 7/5/2005:

This is a story of freedom related to the legacy we leave as healers. Some people step into your life and change you forever. Free you up. One of those people in my life is Ellen Collier. Back in 1997 Dr. Bob, my chiropractor and friend said ‘you need to see Ellen.’ My husband and I were separating because I was  ‘too spiritual’.

My life was in crisis in so many ways. Ways I had not shown up for myself, ways I was holding myself back to be in relationship. Dr. Bob in the middle of his patient room put on a pretend superman cape, and flew around the room. Joyfully explaining that Ellen would teach me to fly, she would expect me to own my power, to fly beside her. A true spiritual warrior he said.

Dr. Bob warned me if I tried to attached to Ellen’s cape, it wouldn’t work, she’d demand I fly with my own cape, and she’d show me how to do it. I had been through therapy, been through shamanic training and somehow these fragmented pieces within needed to come together.  At the time my intuitive gifts were reawakening/restructuring and I didn’t understand what was happening.

Then I met Ellen.

I knew there was magic afoot when I first drive into the driveway. I know a person by the home they keep. Her land sparkles.  She sparkles. Old Chicago brick walkways, exotic plants, birds and trees. Ancient statue pieces, found on her many trips to Mexico lovingly placed, peeking out at me in the most unexpected places. Later I found out that Ellen had dug and laid the pathways herself, designed the pool, planted the trees and exotic gardens all infused with Spirit with intent, focus and purpose.  Ellen and her husband live in an older section of Fort Lauderdale, in the city. Huge trees grace her property, peacocks roam in the neighborhood.

Ellen is a pipe carrier, a mesa carrier,  a healer, a shaman, a curandera. Earth mother.

She taught me that laughter is as healing as crying- to put the ‘fun’ back in dysfunctional. She explained gifted spiritual teachers have huge shadows, and taught me how to see and read between the lines. She helped me make sense of the transition and integrate in the world behind my eyes. She helped me clearly see the should’s of my past, and where I was still hooked in.

Finally Ellen encouraged me to start working with clients, to come out into the world. To write, create and share. The first time I sang in tongues during a session, she said ‘Michele, that is your soul voice, use it.’ 

When I broke my ankle and was in a cast she challenged me yet again– ‘Michele you have to see clients and run groups- here are some of my clients who want to do group work, here’s my home. Just do it.’ Broken ankle and all. No excuses. In 1999 Ellen was diagnosed with breast cancer but that didn’t stop her. The week before her chemo treatments started I drove up to find the exterior of her Casa now painted a deep bright blue and  parrot green. It so worked, it is so Ellen.

She painted her whole house- going from off-whites to tropical greens, blues and pinks- she laughingly shared as she answered the door- ‘I need more color in my life.’ Ellen introduced me to the Peruvian Mesa- another layer of the Great Work. After treatments she went on to take many trips to Peru, worked with plant medicines, traveled to ancient sites doing the cosmic earth work she loves with indigenous shamans.

Her cape took her to many places. I interviewed her for my thesis- Home as a Reflection of Self:

“Healing is now effortless for me in this space I have created; I just get out of the way and allow Spirit to work through me. I honor my limits (rhythm); I let go of the control and open up to the outcome. Cancer and death does that to a person.

Ellen’s awakening married the modalities of shamanism, traditional medicine and the alchemical promise. Her own disconnection and reconnection with her essential self mirrors a path of becoming that most of us run away from.  She admits to being out of harmony with herself which lead to the breakdown of her physical body and breakthrough of her spirit. The journey opening up a deeper connection to Nature. Illness became the catalyst for a spiritual transformation to even deeper levels than had existed within her psyche before the diagnosis.

Shamans are made through tests and trials by fire, there is a tempering that happens much like the alchemical process of separating the base metal from the gold, burning off the dross to find the Spirit. Earth, air, water and fire are in us and around us, the alchemist knows this. Ellen knows this. From lead to gold Ellen’s journey has tempered her spirit becoming a container for soul made manifest on earth- she is a bearer of Light.

She is my teacher, my mentor, the older sister I never had but always wanted. Nothing I write can put into worlds how the power of Ellen’s presence impacts my life. I love her dearly.

When the doctors’ found cancer in Ellen’s body (they had missed it in 1999)  she went through treatments, wanting to live, wanting to do the work.

I am going to live this life ‘til this life won’t let me live here anymore. Then I’ll walk with patience, yes I’ll walk with patience right through that open door. I have no fears, Angels follow me wherever I may go.– song from Big & Rich

After a courageous fight Ellen wrote family and friends she is in a state of tender surrender accepting her death. A sweet goodbye.  I feel sad. I feel secure in knowing that her legacy flows within me- that I lovingly share with family, friends and clients. She taught me how to build a container for shamanic wisdom, to stand in my power, to use my voice.  I feel grateful for her presence. Her presence that touches so many of us. So many stories to share. So many blessings.

Capricorn asks us to be disciplined and responsible especially when we are called to be healers. When we walk a healing path, our task is to understand not only the intuitive, but also the rational. To be both/and not either/or. To manifest one’s hopes wishes and dreams we must be grounded- so very Capricorn.

It’s about HEART and SOUL Grounded in her own knowing a healer frees herself and lives her dream. A woman must first embrace and embody her the Moon and the Great Mother;  to understand her own emotional nature, understand her connection to the earth and sky and all the elements, understand and feel safe expressing her intuitive gifts, love her self, home and family, move through the shadow and the valley of death to embrace the rebirth. Even in death walk through that open door.

The last conversation Ellen laughingly said to me “I’ll see you twinkling in the stars.” I have my cape. Ellen here’s to the wonder you created! Surrounded in love, drum and song.

Ellen peacefully flew Home on July 28th, 2005. Her wish . . . “be joyful and send me love.”

Sending you love today Ellen.