Desiree DeMarsSacred Is Creative
MY JOURNEY into the world of healing arts has been filled with mystical experiences and the magic of nature since childhood. I spent most of my time outdoors and was blessed with living in a rich and diverse cultural environment that included amazing female super sheros.
One of my grandmothers had a practice of healing prayer and yoga, long before it was popular, while the other was strong, expressive, an amazing cook, passionate about music and had an album collection to die for. My mother was also a creative in crafts and my father could to build or rennovate anything. In high school, my best friend’s mother was a nurse in a time when it was not that common for women to be financially independent and her magic was her adventurous spirit.
Discovering The Quetico
The summer of my freshman year in high school, I had a life changing experience after witnessing the passion of wilderness preservationist, Charlie Ericksen. Charlie was a gifted photographer who brought awareness about ecological inter-connectedness and sustainablily into public schools. He lived a life of magic on an island on Nym Lake in the Canadian wilderness. I received a scholarship to canoe the crystal clear waters of Quetico Provincial Park in Atikokan, Ontario for two weeks, and Charlie was my canoe mate. One day paddling on my own around camp, I heard a voice, clear as a bell saying Everything is in Relationship! The understanding of those words has continued to resonate as a deep truth my entire life.
Charlie dedicated his life to ecological education through wilderness experiences from his island home with his wolf-dog, sidekick Lobo. The curriculum continues today as The Voyageur Wilderness Programme. My maiden experience there was so profound that I later attended Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, which was a short distance from the Minnesota border so that I could visit and become a friend to the man who changed my life and showed me what on this earth is truly valuable. I spent many unforgettable summers portaging those waters with kindred spirits who followed the call to reconnect to that sacred land.
On the Shining Big-Sea-Water
As I became a part of an extended family of artists and environmental activists, my dream to build a log cabin and become self sufficient manifested. I lived off grid and worked co-creatively to construct homes, co-produce historical multi-media projects and sustainable businesses in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I will forever cherish the memories of living on the shores of Gitche Gumee, so aptly named by the Ojibwe people meaning great sea. The Ojibwe name for the lake is actually gichi-gami, and kitchi-gami in other dialects, and named by Longfellow, Gitche Gumee in The Song of Hiawatha.
The Veil of Reality Can Be Thin
At some point I had returned to Chicago and was taking a hypnotherapy training with Jacqueline Tshetter, a medical hypnoanalyist and was staying with my family in a nearby suburb. On the last day of the training, upon returning to their home, I pulled into the driveway with a sudden, deep sinking feeling in my heart. I stopped the car immediately and ran in to make sure everything was all right and my mother let me know that my grandmother has passed.
I recall being torn about going to the funeral but was so close to her that I felt I needed to for some reason beyond obligation. As I stood by the castket I will never forget that I suddenly sensed her body hovering over us and I asked internally, “What are you doing here?” I will never forget her reply that she was waiting for me to say goodbye. I never told anyone about my expereince until years later, as back then, people thought you were crazy if you shared those kind of stories! Of course I now understand, that the veil of what we perceive to be reality can be thin and those who wish to connect with us can do so if we are open to receiving their communications.
Sacred Plant Spirit Medicine
Fast forward a few years, life evolved and I moved to the canyons of Malibu, California and worked as an event designer and co-producer. My home was at the top of a canyon with a view spanning the ocean and a state park for my back yard. One day as I was hiking the land, I experienced what I now know to be a spontaneous shamanic journey through my energetic communication with an ancient cactus.
I had a transmission of full recall as a Medicine Woman on that land in a lifetime before. My perception of reality had powerfully shifted and I was deeply moved by this direct revelation. Within a few days, I was gifted a book about shamanism that opened a door to another dimension of my spiritual path.
It led to the meeting of my first shamanic teacher, Sandra Ingerman and her teacher, anthropologist Michael Harner, the founder of The Foundation for Shamanic Studies. I later trained with Hank Wesselman, Alberto Villoldo, Theo Peredes, Dr. Hu Len, Malidoma Some and Aama Bombo, along other native shaman in Peru, Ecuador, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nepal, Bali, and Thailand.
As my curiosity grew about the nature of reality, my path into integrative health broadened. I became a mixed media creative, yoga teacher, massage therapist and shamanic energy runner with a private practice in Chicago for over 25 years. I was a founding member of The Center for Shamanic Healing in the bay area of California and I now live in Asheville, North Carolina. You can visit my art and sound healing studio at Haw Creek Commons, a mountain coworking community at 315 Old Haw Creek Road, 28805, 312-437-4325.
Read More About My Journey
Together Magazine: Missional Wisdom Foundation Publications, Volume 1: Spring 2019, Southlake, TX
ASHEVILLE MADE: May 2, 2018 Issue, Asheville, NC