Remembering the Deer Mother of Winter Solstice

By | Uncategorized

Written by Danielle Prohom Olson & originally published on Gather Victoria

Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

“Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” ~ Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.

Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas cards and Yule decorations – not Rudolph. Because unlike the male reindeer who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the larger and stronger doe, who retains her antlers. And it is she who leads the herds in winter.

So this season, when we gather by the fire to tell children bedtime stories of Santa and his flying reindeer – why not tell the story of the ancient Deer Mother of old? It was she who once flew through winter’s longest darkest night with the life-giving light of the sun in her horns.

Ever since the early Neolithic, when the earth was much colder and reindeer more widespread, the female reindeer was venerated by northern people. She was the “life-giving mother”, the leader of the herds upon which they depended for survival, and they followed the reindeer migrations for milk, food, clothing and shelter.

And from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia, Siberia, across the land bridge of the Bering Strait, she was a revered spiritual figure associated with fertility, motherhood, regeneration and the rebirth of the sun (the theme of winter solstice). 

Top right to left: Siberian Deer Tattoo 2nd century BCE., Shamanic Headdress found in Düsseldorf Burial, Scythian Deer figurine, Mesolithic Burial of two women in France, Scythian Rod, Iron Age

Top right to left: Siberian Deer Tattoo 2nd century BCE., Shamanic Headdress found in Düsseldorf Burial, Scythian Deer figurine, Mesolithic Burial of two women in France, Scythian Rod, Iron Age

Her antlers adorned shrines and altars, were buried in ceremonial graves, and were worn as shamanic headdresses. Her image was etched in standing stones, woven into ceremonial cloth and clothing, cast in jewelry, painted on drums, and tattooed onto skin.

Deer Stones Image Source Wikipedia. Upper Left Image: Pen and Ink Sketch of Mongolian Deer Stone by Penny Sinclair, Scottish Narratives.

Deer Stones Image Source Wikipedia. Upper Left Image: Pen and Ink Sketch of Mongolian Deer Stone by Penny Sinclair, Scottish Narratives.

The reindeer was often shown leaping or flying through the air with neck outstretched and legs flung out fore and aft. Her antlers were frequently depicted as the tree of life, carrying birds, the sun, moon and stars. And across the northern world, it was the Deer Mother who took flight from the dark of the old year to bring light and life to the new.

Sami Reindeer Woman, source Arctic Photo

Sami Reindeer Woman, source Arctic Photo

For the Sami, the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, Beaivi is the name for the Sun Goddess associated with motherhood, the fertility of plants and the reindeer. At Winter solstice, warm butter (a symbol of the sun) was smeared on doorposts as a sacrifice to Beaivi so that she could gain strength and fly higher and higher into the sky. Beivve was often shown accompanied by her daughter in an enclosure of reindeer antlers and together they returned green and fertility to the land.

Sami Reindeer Woman, source Arctic Photo

Sami Reindeer Woman, source Arctic Photo

Many winter goddesses in northern legends were associated with solstice. They took to the skies led by a bevy of flying animals. One tells of the return of Saule, the Lithuanian and Latvian goddess of the sun. She flew across the heavens in a sleigh pulled by horned reindeer and threw pebbles of amber (symbolizing the sun) into chimneys.

Mary B. Kelly’s book Goddess Embroideries Of Eastern Europe explores images of the horned deer mother in the sacred textiles of women. The image of the mother goddess Rohanitsa is often shown with antlers and gives birth to deer as well as children. For her feast day in late December (most likely solstice) white iced cookies shaped like deer were given as presents or good luck tokens, and red and white embroidery depicting her image were displayed.

Ceremonial Embroidery of Rohanitsa, Image Source from Mary B. Kelly

Ceremonial Embroidery of Rohanitsa, Image Source from Mary B. Kelly

In Siberian legends the reindeer took flight each winter after ingesting the hallucinogenic Amanita Muscaria mushroom, the archetypal red toadstool with white spots. Shamans would join them on a vision quest, by taking the mushrooms themselves. Climbing the tree of life in her horns, they would take flight like a bird into the upper realms. Other folktales tell how shamans, dressed in red suits with white spots, would collect the mushrooms and then deliver them through chimneys as gifts on the winter solstice. Talk about a wild night.

While many historical explorations of the pagan origins of Christmas observe the link between Santa’s garb and the red and white amanita mushroom ingesting shaman, few mention that is was the female shamans who originally wore red and white costumes trimmed with fur, horned headdresses or felt red hats! The ceremonial clothing worn by medicine women healers of Siberia and Lapland, was green and white with a red peaked hat, curled toed boots, reindeer mittens, fur lining and trim. Sound familiar?

Horned Kichko, ancient russian shaman females sacred hat.

Horned Kichko, ancient russian shaman females sacred hat.

Considering that most of the shamans in this region were originally women, it is likely that their traditional wear is the true source for Santa’s costume.  And it is also very likely that they were the first to take shamanic flight with the reindeer on winter’s darkest night.

And while these women are largely forgotten today, the Deer Mother still lives in our Christmas cards, seasonal decorations and tales of Santa’s flying reindeer. And while we may not recognize her, I believe some deep, old part of ourselves still remembers the original “Mother Christmas” who brought light and new life to the world.

So this solstice take a moment to remember the forgotten winter goddesses of old and their magical reindeer. Look out from your warm cozy home into the cold of the darkening eve. And on the sacred night when the sun is reborn, look for the Deer Mother flying across starry skies, carrying the tree of life in her horns.


(By Danielle Prosom Olson) This postscript is in response to the many comments and requests I’ve received for the sources of the above post. Many have never heard of the Deer Mother or her female shaman -which is no surprize. Today the internet is awash with articles examining the pagan origins of Christmas but what is consistently overlooked is the idea that there may have been a feminine source for yule traditions.

For example, a plethora of “alternative” articles observe the link between Santa’s red and white garb and the Siberian shaman, and consistently refer to this shaman as “him”. Little mention is made that this ceremonial clothing was worn by the earliest shamans in the northern regions who were -and still are – female. In fact the leader of the Mongolian Reindeer People, according to this source,  is a 96-year-old shaman known as Tsuyan.

And when it comes to the deer, well there is much talk of the stag, but little mention of what was once an important spiritual figure to our northern ancestors – the Deer Mother. Much historical scholarship has assumed that many horned images found in archaic relics, ritual objects and artwork were male. But considering the evidence for a reindeer mother goddess cult dating from the prehistoric, many scholars now suggest that some of these images may be in fact, female reindeer.

That early female shaman wore horned headdresses and antlers is also well documented. In Miranda Green’s book Symbol and Image in Celtic Religious Art she states, “animal symbolism associated with goddesses reachs it apogee with horned female images, usually adorned with antlers.” 

Lead Plaque of Horned God (or Goddess?) found in Chesters, Northumberland. Miranda Green. 

Lead Plaque of Horned God (or Goddess?) found in Chesters, Northumberland. Miranda Green. 

Green makes the point that while the antlered god Cernunnos is well known in eastern Gaul (and is revered in many pagan circles today) there were also feminine counterparts found in at many sites such as Clermont-Ferrand  (Puy de Dome) and at Besancon (Doubs).

Esther Jacobson compiled the deer iconography of the early nomads of South Siberia and northern Central Asia. Her book The Deer Goddess Of Ancient Siberia: A Study In The Ecology Of Belief traces the image of the deer from rock carvings, paintings, and monolithic stelae from the Neolithic period down through the early Iron Age.  And her study demonstrates that this deer goddess “religion “revolved around female “wise woman” and the Deer Mother herself. 

Reindeer Stones or Stele. Image source Wikipedia.

Reindeer Stones or Stele. Image source Wikipedia.

The deer goddess was known across northern Europe. From The Deer-Cult and the Deer-Goddess Cult of the Ancient Caledonians  by J.G. McKay “There are an immense number of traditions, references, notices of customs, and various minor matters, which show conclusively that there formerly existed in the Highlands of Scotland two cults, probably pre-Celtic, a deer-cult and a deer-goddess cult. The latter cult was administered by women only…”

Antlered female shaman (believed to be Nishan from NE Asia)

Antlered female shaman (believed to be Nishan from NE Asia)

The book The Golden Deer of Eurasia published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a wonderful visual exploration of the sacred significance of the deer and reindeer in the shamanic traditions – which “was understood as essentially female” and associated with the tree of life, fertility, motherhood  birth and the rebirth of the sun (the theme of winter solstice!)

According to this lovely article “Reindeer and the Sun are very common association in Siberian shamanism. Tattoos on buried shaman women also contain deer tattoos, featuring antlers embellished with small birds’ heads, and since the goddess cultures of female shaman is most associated with deer, serpent and birds, it is right that these deer stones were the sacred ritual grounds of women. This reindeer-sun-bird imagery can symbolize the female shaman’s soul transformation from human to deer, from earth of the middle world to higher gates of the middle world and even the lower world.”

Mesolithic female shaman of Bad Dürrenberg, 7000-6500 bce, with reconstructed regalia from animal bones, horns, teeth, and shells. From a wonderful color-illustrated pdf of “Archaeological Finds from Germany”

Mesolithic female shaman of Bad Dürrenberg, 7000-6500 bce, with reconstructed regalia from animal bones, horns, teeth, and shells. From a wonderful color-illustrated pdf of “Archaeological Finds from Germany”

This fascinating article describes the ancient traditional clothing worn by “Medicine Women Healers” in Siberia and what once known as Lapland. “The red peaked, felted hats and curled-toe boots and warm mittens of reindeer-hide complete, what I believe to be, the feminine origins of perhaps the first of a very long line of Santa Claus replications. Their long lineage of connection with the induction of spiritual journeys through the drum, their relationship of healing with “Reindeer-Magic” and their ability to create potions and salves which could incite ecstatic visions or “Shamanic Journeys,” give us a deeper look at the Solstice and contemporary Christmas symbol. These priestesses-of-the-antlered-ones who flew through the night to gather blessings and healing and then distributed these gifts to their tribe members must surely be considered as proto-typical Fore-Mothers of Santa.”

So based on these sources (and I could go on!) it seems quite certain that there once an ancient deer mother goddess associated with the sun at winter solstice. It also seems likely that female shamans took to shamanic flight with the Deer Mother on this sacred night.

Today some of our most cherished Christmas iconography features antlered “stags”. Why does this image still speak so strongly to us? Could it be that they evoke an ancient memory? Are we remembering the long forgotten mother of winter solstice? I like to think so. 

P.S. And if you want another way to share the story of the Deer Mother – CLICK HERE to see a little video about her!

This article was written by Danielle Prohom Olson & originally published on Gather Victoria

These Are Profoundly Sacred Times ~ We Are Being Called to Evolve Rapidly

By | Uncategorized

In the Northern Hemisphere, we are approaching the Winter Solstice & entering into the darkest days of the year. Here in Maryland where I live, the very first snowflakes of the winter are just starting to fall outside my window as I write.

These are profoundly sacred times.

We are being called to evolve rapidly ~ whether we asked for it or not!

Many people who I’ve spoken to recently have shared that they feel like a completely different person now than they did a year ago, or even 6 months ago.

Do you feel the same?

We are being tested and upgraded, dissolved and then reformed, taken apart and put back together in completely new and (at times) unfamiliar ways. Many people are feeling that the total solar eclipse which occurred on August 21st was a big turning point, a time when significant rapid changes were set into motion, within each of us as well as in the collective of humanity.

I have to agree.

The messages coming through to me now feel rough around the edges, at times dark and frightening, at times filled with the brightest light and unconditional love. There is no gray area here!

My dreams have become mysterious and unfamiliar. When I pick up a book to read, or when I sink into a meditative state, I keep seeing the same messages: All hearts beating as one ~ All life is sacred ~ We must change now ~ Seek silence and listen closely ~ Do not be afraid ~ Step fully into the shadow ~ Heal wounds from the past ~ Heal what your ancestors could not face ~ Raise the vibration of the planet ~ Now is the time.

Where there used to be gentleness and patience from my spirit guides, now there is a certain forcefulness, a pressing urgency.

Mother Earth is speaking to us, and speaking through us.

Paul Hawken, in his eye-opening book Blessed Unrest, says that Earth is a living organism, just like you or me, just like a tree, just like a bird or a tiger. All living organisms possess immune systems which are biologically designed to protect them.

Earth is being threatened on a massive level by oil drilling, deforestation, fossil fuel emissions, and much more.

As a living organism, Hawken says, Earth has the capacity to send out protective vehicles, like the white blood cells in our bodies.

Hawken proposes that we, the human beings who have awakened our consciousness and are willing to take action to create tremendous change in the world, we are Earth’s white blood cells.

We are becoming activists and environmentalists; we are healing one another and healing the land; we are performing sacred rituals and ceremonies to raise & re-enliven the vibration of all of life; we are emissaries of the new consciousness, speaking our truth and sharing our light; we are collectively birthing forth a new future for Earth.

And I believe that we (humans) are most certainly not the only while blood cells acting on behalf of Earth for her protection.

I make this statement in particular, because something very curious has happened to me.

I have recently (actually, quite suddenly, immediately following the total solar eclipse in August) developed a severe allergy to beef and pork.

The farming of livestock (primarily cows and pigs) is one of the greatest threats to our planet, for multiple reasons, and is also a source of incomparable suffering for hundreds of thousands of animals every single year.

If humans were to stop consuming beef and pork, it would make a significant difference in a positive direction as related to reducing climate change.

So upon further research, it turns out that I am not the only one who has recently developed an allergy to beef and pork. The allergy (called Alpha-gal Allergy) is caused by a tick bite, and is rapidly spreading through North America, Europe, and Australia. The allergy causes a terrible reaction when someone eats beef or pork: Full body hives & itching, severe stomach pains, and even the possibility of anaphylactic shock, which can be life-threatening.

How does this allergy happen? From what I understand, when a human is bitten by a tick, certain sugars enter the human bloodstream, which produce an antibody in that person, against sugars that are carried by 4-legged mammals (cows, pork, sheep, etc). So after the tick bite, the person will experience a severe allergic reaction whenever they eat beef, pork, lamb, etc. This does not happen with all ticks – Only specific types, such as the Lone Star tick.

So I ask you this: What if a significant portion of the world’s population could no longer eat beef or pork (without becoming severely ill each time)? What would be the global consequences of such an epidemic?

It seems to me that this would be quite favorable for Earth.

And how very interesting that the Alpha-gal Allergy is most prevalent in the Southeastern United States, where people probably eat the highest quantities of red meat versus other locations.

And so the ticks, lowly & hateful creatures (as I always thought before) that they appear to be, have in this case become the white blood cells fighting in favor of Earth. These ticks are changing the physical makeup of human beings so that we are physically unable to continue eating red meat.

I also ask you this: What comes next? What other white blood cell activity will Mother Earth send out?

This question feels a bit scary, admittedly, and yet at the same time, fills me with tremendous hope.

More and more people are waking up and taking action to reduce their carbon footprint, to plant trees, to speak out in favor of our planet’s health. And at the same time, certain biological forces are swinging powerfully into action to protect our Great Mother. And I’m certain that more will be on the way.

So you may want to practice being a vegetarian or a pescatarian now … In preparation for that beef and pork allergy which just might be coming your way!

I must say, I didn’t eat a lot of beef and pork before, but I feel so much healthier now that I have had no choice but to cut them completely out of my diet!! (And yes, I have been checked for Lyme, which came back negative ~ Because I know so many of you lovely and caring people will want to ask.)

So my suggestion to you is to keep your eyes open, and stay connected to your truth as we enter into these dark days of winter. Know that you are evolving rapidly right now, and this is not an easy process. The changes will be very different & individual for each and every one of us. Be patient with yourself.

It is natural for us to need more sleep and to have lower energy when the days are short and the nights are long. Be sure to listen to your body and take time out for rest and rejuvenation.

If you are experiencing health issues, or difficult times, know that you are not alone. Many, many people are experiencing strange & intense occurrences in their lives right now. It is all part of this massive evolutionary process that we are navigating. Trust that there is a higher reason for all of it; trust that you are part of a larger collective, and that all of our experiences have great meaning and are part of a larger plan.

Listen to your dreams, especially on these longest nights near the Winter Solstice …

Here is something important that you can do to deepen into your evolution and understand the important messages that are being sent to you by the incredible intelligence of the universe: Tune in to your dreams.

Willemijn Maas, creator of Elemental Life, has created a beautiful Dream Recording Workbook for the 12 Nights of Yule. She is giving these workbooks away for free until December 21st. You can CLICK HERE to claim yours, and begin opening up to the mysterious messages from the Dreamtime.

Willemijn says:

“The 12 Sacred Nights of Yule are known for the insights we can receive about the coming year through our dreams.

Last year, I wrote down a dream for these 12 consecutive nights. They correspond to the months of the year, and I read them back recently.

It’s almost eerie to see that my unconscious mind already knew what was going to happen, sometimes in great detail, sometimes through a general theme. It was a year of many changes that I couldn’t have predicted with my conscious rational mind. And it was all in my dreams already…

That’s why I created this workbook. To make people aware that they also have this power and inner knowledge that they can access during the 12 Nights of Yule. And to find some peace and quiet during the frantic days around Christmas.”

Traditionally, the period following Midwinter, also called Yuletide, was a sacred time. The 12 nights of Yule, starting with the Night preceding Yule were a time of contemplation, and divination, often sitting by the fire, staring into the flames of the Yule log burning (the modern Christmas tree).

In our modern life, we have almost completely lost the connection to this sacred time. Paying attention to your inner world is helpful in navigating decisions and finding peace and quiet, especially during the holiday season.

When we honor the dark, it’s possible to receive insights from our unconscious mind. This can be in the form of visions, dreams or insights. Dreams occurring during these dark 12 nights have divinatory powers and hold powerful messages about the coming year, in which the 12 nights of Yule are connected to the months of the year. You’ll want to keep track of these dreams for future reference.

You can CLICK HERE to download your own (free!) copy of the Dream Recording Workbook for the 12 Nights of Yule.


Clare Dubois – Reinstating the Feminine to Reclaim Wholeness

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I have exciting news for you today!

I am going to be releasing several interviews from the Balancing Sacred Masculine & Sacred Feminine 3-Day Event which was held in June 2017. These interviews have never before been viewed outside of the actual event. We created all of these interviews live and in real time, with audience Q&A afterwards.

The speakers were simply amazing, and the response from the audience was beyond anything I anticipated. So I know you’ll enjoy these! I’ll post a new interview every 2 or 3 days from now until the end of November.

The first interview I want to share with you is the one which received the strongest response of all. Watch or listen as Clare Dubois takes you on a rollercoaster inner journey of exploring the Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine within you. I served as her guinea pig, and at times I was left utterly speechless. This was a profound experience and I welcome you to try it out for yourself!

Here is Clare Dubois, founder of TreeSisters, in “Reinstating the Feminine to Reclaim Wholeness – An Embodied Journey Into Your Own Self-Discovery.”



Or listen to the audio:


If you love what you experienced here, I welcome you to CLICK HERE and check out Clare’s awesome mission of planting one billion trees per year to reforest our planet. If you register on this page, you will have the chance to hear Clare interview a number of incredibly inspiring speakers including Joanna Macy and Barbara Marx Hubbard in a 7-week interview series.


Love and blessings, Jocelyn Mercado

The Journey

By | Uncategorized

I have traveled to the imaginal realms and back …

I have seen the sky kissing the Earth with sheets of rain …

I have walked beneath a thin crescent moon and offered tobacco to the land in heartfelt gratitude for miracles …

I have poured out my tears to receive messages from my ancestors who passed long ago.

I have spoken with mountains and forests …

I have infused a stone with my joy …

I have learned of my origins from a sparkling dream …

I have been carried along on ice-cold river currents into the welcoming arms of a hot spring.

And now, I have returned home.

I hold my sweet daughter, almost four years old.

Tomorrow she will begin preschool.

But for now, she is my baby, asleep in my arms, her heart beating steadily against mine.

I remember when she was two years old, just learning to talk.

“Do you remember,” she would say,

“When I was your mommy and you were my baby?”

“Yes,” I would say, smiling softly, “Tell me more about that.”

She is deeply connected to birds.

She watches them when we’re outside

And tells me what the birds are doing, and why they land in certain trees.

“I think Lily used to be a bird,” I said earlier this evening.

“Yes! I did!” she exclaimed. “And I am still a bird now.”

She held a Birds of the Mid-Atlantic field guide in her hands.

“Tell me,” I asked her, “What kind of bird are you now?”

She flipped through the book.

She stopped on the page with a light-gray dove.

“I am this bird,” she said.

Once, when she was less than 6 months old, I was holding her while she slept.

I fell asleep too,

And my dream merged with hers.

She was dreaming of the purest bliss.

I have never felt such peace and brightness and love.

I awoke with a start,

And wanted to go back into that precious dream.

I looked at her little face and knew then

Why babies smile while they sleep.

All of these are the miracles that I know.

Our world is so alive.

Every element is talking to us

At every moment.

When we can each fully embody this truth,

We will never feel alone again.

We will not need power, or money …

We will not need drugs, or alcohol.

We will live in profound connection

To all that is.

This is what the ancient people knew.

This is our birthright

As children of the Earth and Cosmos.

Long ago, our Mother (the Earth) and Father (the Sky)

Made love like rain kissing the mountains,

And life sprung forth,

Joyous and blissful,

Ever-changing, ever-evolving,

Each element and every living being perfectly designed to bring its special gifts.

This is, even today, our natural & innate state of being.

We can feel this way again.

We can remember.

We need only

To hold a young child while they are sleeping …

To jump into icy cold river currents …

To speak with a mountain or a stone …

To sleep beneath the vastness of the Milky Way …

To stand awestruck in the mounting winds while a thunderstorm rolls in …

To give unconditional love to a friend.

It is not far away,

This new (ancient) way of living.

It is right in front of you.

You can reach out and touch it. It is available to you, always …

Have faith, have trust, and seek it … Find it …

Make a point to spend more time each day connecting with it …

And live the rest of your life in the way you have always dreamed.

By Jocelyn Mercado

P.S. I love this image of the rain falling on the mountains:

Tune In to Life Itself

By | Uncategorized

We inhabit a living world

Of dreams waiting to be manifested

Continually on the brink of becoming reality


The possibilities sparkle all around us


Look at the trees … If left alone to multiply, they stretch to infinity

Enlivening the entire Earth

Gifting us the oxygen we need to survive and thrive

Funneling nutrients through the soil to benefit trees and other creatures

Providing a habitat for countless plants and animals


Look at the endless blue sky

It encompasses us

It opens up for us

It brings us sunlight, or rain, or cleansing wind: Whatever we need most: All those blessings that the sun and our atmosphere can shower down upon us


Think of the animals

All over the planet

Growing, evolving, adapting, changing the surface of the Earth with their activities, 

Brightening our spirits just by existing

Think of how many different species

Exist across the globe

So many incredibly varied life forms

Millions that we have not even discovered yet

Each living in their own special way

Upon the same Earth as us


Consider our human brains:

Incredible computers that can process anything,

Receive divine inspiration,

Create new ideas never heard of before,

And come up with the technology and architecture to build something never seen before.

We are programmed to cradle and comfort a tiny baby

With the same ease that we communicate wirelessly

Or navigate outer space

Or paint a masterpiece


Think of the universe, stretching to infinity in all directions

And the wonders it holds!:

Planets of every size and description,

Comets and stardust and asteroids and moons

And exploding stars that are right now creating the matter that might make up our ancestors far in the future

Just as the explosions of billions of years ago created the elements that form our bodies today.


There are no limits to what we can do.


The universe and the vast expanses of sky and the happy proliferation of trees speak to this truth, if we would only listen.


Tune in to your intuition:

It feels like freedom.


Tune into the creative possibilities that you are capable of:

It feels like eternity.


Tune in to life itself:

It feels like magic.


It IS magic.


And all of this is within us

Within every cell of our bodies;

All of this is available at our fingertips.


Nothing is impossible.


We just need

To break free

From all expectations and perceived limits

And then we will soar

Higher than we ever dreamed

Connected to all that is

And living our truest, deepest, most potential-filled



By Jocelyn Mercado

Summer Solstice or Midsummer

By | Uncategorized

The Summer Solstice is the day of the year in which the daylight lasts longest and the night is shortest. This occurs in late June in the Northern Hemisphere, and is caused by the Earth’s tilt toward the Sun on its rotational axis. On the June Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is at its maximum tilt toward the Sun. At the same time, the Southern Hemisphere is at its maximum tilt away from the Sun, creating the Winter Solstice or shortest day of the year for those living on the Southern side of our planet.

The Summer Solstice is most visibly obvious in Arctic regions, where the days grow extremely long, and within the Arctic Circle there is continuous daylight.

Our bodies are sensitive to the lengthening days, as the Pineal Gland controlling some of our biological internal clocks releases certain hormones that make us feel more energetic when there is more sunlight. Animals and plants are of course affected by the amount of sunlight as well. For animals, the amount of daylight affects their mating habits, migration, and hibernation; and for plants, the Sun cycles provide cues for when to grow and bloom, versus when to recede and become dormant. Most notably, deciduous trees lose their leaves as the days grow shorter and produce buds and new leaves as the days grow longer.

Ancient peoples were very much attuned to the seasonal cycles of light and dark. This was a matter of survival, on multiple levels. First, the Spring and Summer, when the days are lengthening and longest, were plentiful times for hunter-gatherers, and were planting, growing, and harvesting times for people who practiced agriculture. This was especially important in more Northen climates, where the growing season is the shortest and must be maximized for the people to survive through the long winters. Second, it was very important to ancient peoples to hold ceremonies at certain important points during the year, to connect with the Spirit world, in whatever form that might take from one region to the next. The people needed to maintain a good relationship with the Creator, and the Spirits that surrounded and supported them, in order to ensure an abundance of food, water, favorable weather conditions, and good health for all of their community.

Many traditions state that the Solstices are one of the few times during each year time when the veils are lifted between the physical world and the spirit world, and that magic or deeper connection to Spirit was possible at the Solstice time. As a result, the Solstice was believed to be an especially powerful time for gathering healing herbs (as the herbs were said to contain stronger healing power if gathered at this time), lighting sacred fires in celebration and to give thanks, or doing sacred rituals to strengthen the feminine powers of birth and life.

We know that as early as 30,000 years ago, ancient peoples were tracking the passing of the seasons and the cycles of the Sun and Moon. This is evidenced by marks that were scratched, chipped, or painted into pieces of ivory, bone, or stone that were noting significant events in the sky.

As early as six to eight thousand years ago (and possibly much earlier), we can find evidence of celebrations aligned with the Sun cycles, when people gathered together to appeal to the energies that they believed controlled the cycles of birth, life, death, and rebirth.

In the Chinese Book of Records from over four thousand years ago, astronomers were instructed to calculate the Solstices and Equinoxes for the Emperor’s knowledge.

There are four main techniques that have been found in ancient practices for marking the Solstices:

(1) Placing a picture, symbol, painting, or carving so that the sun would shine directly upon it (usually at sunrise or sunset) at the height of the Solstice, such as Newgrange in Ireland.

(2) The placement of a pillar or obelisk so that the shadow created by the onject would indicate the Solstices and Equinoxes (with shadows being longer at the Winter Solstice and almost nonexistent at mid-day on the Summer Solstice). This was a practice of the Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese, Peruvians, and other cultures.

(3) In central Native American tribes, a structure would be constructed in which on the longest day of the year, the Sun shines through a hole on the ceiling directly onto a particular location, drawing, or painting on the floor.

(4) In places such as Stonehenge and ancient Egypt, the Sun precisely aligns with a specific part of a human-built structure at sunrise or sunset on the Solstice.

So we know that people have been closely following and celebrating the Summer Solstice for many thousands of years!

Interestingly, both the Summer and Winter Solstices have become intertwined with Christian beliefs over the millennia. For example, the Summer Solstice is called St. John’s Day in many places. This began originally because the Summer Solstice was believed to be a powerful time for gathering the herb St. John’s Wort, which was used frequently for healing purposes. But as Christianity was integrated with the ancient traditions, it was said that St. John the Baptist was born at the time of the Solstice, as the Bible states that St. John was born six months before Jesus. So in the Christian traditions, St. John’s birthday is celebrated at the Summer Solstice and Jesus’ birthday at the Winter Solstice.

Here are some of the ancient traditions for the Summer Solstice from different parts of the world, many of which are still practiced today in some form. Due to more people becoming interested in, and taking the time to learn about ancient nature-based practices, many of these older traditions are being re-awakened and celebrated once again.

In the mythology of Ancient Britain, the Oak King ruled when the days were lengthening (from the Winter Solstice to the Summer Solstice), and the Holly King rules when the days were growing shorter. So while the Summer Solstice was a time of full celebration, at the same time the people knew the Oak King was turning over rulership to the Holly King, and the days would be growing progressively shorter. They knew that the progression toward midwinter actually begins at midsummer.

In Europe, particularly in Northern locations such as Nordic lands, Russia, the British Isles, and Ireland, Midsummer Night was frequently celebrated by lighting fires, both in the individual homes and at the center of the town or community. The fire, smoke, and ashes were believed to purify the air and environment, driving away evil spirits and protecting people, homes, families, and livestock. Farmers would purposely light fires where the smoke would blow over their fields and livestock, and some would even singe their cattle or horses with branches or embers, to protect and purify them. After these household & family rituals were completed, the families would all go to the communal bonfire which would be lit at nightfall. Because fire was looked upon as a miniature version of the sun, this large Midsummer bonfire was lit to encourage the Sun to keep burning as strongly as possible throughout the remainder of the growing season. The people would take turns leaping over the tall fire, the fittest & strongest youths at first when the fire was burning highest, and then women and couples would leap over later on, to ensure health and a many children, as the fire became lower.

Fire (representing the sun) was one aspect of the Midsummer festivities, and water (related to fertility and to sustaining life in the heat of summer) was another. People would dress wells, springs, and fountains with flowers. In Russia, on Kupala Night (Midsummer Night), girls and young women placed wreaths lit with candles into the river and where they flowed was said to indicate their romantic fortunes. People would often bathe in rivers at midnight on Midsummer Eve.



Your Role In Our Collective Future

By | Uncategorized

Know deeply that whatever you are called to do, it is critically important.

If you are called to be a healer, then you are going to be instrumental in helping people remember the resilience & magic of their own bodies to heal; in reducing our dependence on the broken-down healthcare systems that only make us sicker; in reconnecting us with the healing power of plants; and in raising the vibration of the planet through increased health & expanded consciousness of all those who your work touches.

If you are called to be an artist or creative, then you are here to remind us of the massive potential of human brilliance to create beauty & inspiration. You are meant to reconnect us with the magic of the different dimensions, realms, and layers of the human experience. You know how to evoke emotions with line and color, how to see into the soul of the living world. You understand the importance of connecting children with art so that their creative expression will blossom & they will know there is magic surrounding all of us at every moment.

If you are called to be a teacher, coach, therapist, or counselor, then you are desperately needed at this time. To help people realize their full potential. To help them discover their true purpose, heal from childhood wounds, enter the mystery of the Dreamtime for answers & guidance. You have been sent here to be a guide and an inspiration to others. When you offer your work from a place of deep intuitive knowing, you are helping others to connect with their intuition as well, so they will be more open to hearing Mother Earth’s call and shining their own light for a brighter future.

If you help people to improve their nutrition, fitness, & wellbeing, then you are providing a basis for them to open up to higher levels of truth and understanding. For when we are eating healthy food, and taking good care of our bodies & minds, we have a greater capacity for spiritual growth, consciousness, and enlightenment. You are helping to raise the vibration of the planet through your important work.

If you work with animals, then you are so needed in order to re-establish our connection with our brothers and sisters who have been our companions and soul-mates since the beginning of time. So that we can learn from them, find comfort in their unconditional love, and treat them with respect and caring.

If you work with plants, then you are going to help us open to the new world in which we will seek the plants’ intelligence for healing and insights, just as we did in ancient times. When you enter into the intelligence of the plants, you have the capacity to see for yourself, and share with others, the shining spiderwebs of connection between all aspects of creation.

If you are a messenger from the Divine, a channel, a lightworker, a writer, a liaison between worlds: Then your task is absolutely critical. You are here to bridge the gap between worlds and offer people an entry way, a new perspective, a new way of seeing that includes the unseen. Your role is to raise consciousness and help our hearts to beat in tune with a higher vibration, for the increased health & wellbeing of Mother Earth and all beings.

4 Ways to Set Yourself Up to Receive Miracles

By | Uncategorized

I want to offer you a paradigm shift today:

Don’t set goals. Instead, set yourself up to receive miracles.

When we set a goal, we are often looking for what is realistic, logical, expedient, or profitable.

When we ask for a miracle, on the other hand, it’s always about transformation. Getting from an old place to a completely new place, shifting paradigms, saving lives.

When we want to change the world then (quite a task these days!), what is going to be more useful? Goals? Or miracles?

I’ve had too many times where I set a goal and there was no energy behind it. No spark. No passion.

But when instead, you make the decision to put forth your highest effort, or take a big leap outside of your comfort zone, or go out of your way to help someone in need, or approach a project from an entirely new angle … When you seek help from above in the form of prayer or ceremony or simply asking for the resources that you need …

That’s setting yourself up for a miracle.

So if you think the only thing that’s going to get you unstuck, re-motivated, aligned with your life’s mission, or out of a bad situation is a miracle … You just might be right.

And miracles are available to us.

They happen every day. We know this. We know there is magic afoot, all around us. We know that spiritual teachers and prophets and shamans are not lying about the reality of mystical and non-ordinary experiences. Spiritual awakenings and moments of intense & life-changing insight are not an accident. We’ve all experienced synchronicities that we know are not a coincidence.

So why don’t we think it can happen to us?

It is the old scarcity story? Do we believe that there are not enough miracles to go around?

Guess what … We get to CHOOSE. We have an innate tendency, as human beings, to receive miracles. We just have to decide if we are up for the challenge of welcoming them into our life.

I make it a practice to expect to see and experience miracles & magic every day.

And so I do.

Many of the miracles I experience are small-ish. The way the sun shines through tree branches, creating a perfectly concentric, spiderweb-shaped glow in the middle of winter. A bald eagle flying overhead. A sudden burst of insight or inspiration which is the perfect answer to a question that I was stuck on.

Not so small, really. These are each incredibly amazing in their own right.

But some of the miracles I’ve experienced are BIG. The birth of my children. Quitting my finance job so I can do the work that I love. Talk to amazing people all around the world on Zoom every day. (Video conferencing itself is a miraculous feat – talking to someone on the other side of the world as if you are chatting together in your own living room!) Having a mountain speak to me, first in shamanic journeys … And then manifest into my physical reality. The synchronistic ways that beautiful & inspiring people come into my life at just the right time.

You can set yourself up to receive miracles.

There are PLENTY of them to go around. In fact, the world would be a better & happier place if more of us opened up our arms with full trust & faith to welcome miracles and magic into our lives. You can start today!

Here are 4 ways to set yourself up to receive miracles:

  1. Figure out your life’s purpose. We each hold the key to something the world critically needs. It is our sacred responsibility to find out what our purpose is, and then go and DO it! So don’t wait another day. When you are on the path toward your true life’s purpose, miracles and synchronicities will guide you all along the way. I guarantee it.

  2. Step outside of your comfort zone. We are programmed to recreate the familiar again & again, because it’s safe and predictable. When we jump outside of that comfort zone, we enable our subconscious mind to see that something entirely different is possible and even survivable. Even preferable! So try it! There is no better way to create a huge shift in your life (a miracle) than taking a big courageous step outside of your comfort zone. Outside of the comfort zone is where tremendous growth and transformation occur. Just hold on tight and enjoy the ride!

  3. Take action. This one is really important. The universe is constantly conspiring to send us huge amounts of abundance, but our blocks and low expectations can get in the way. When we take action, we counteract those low expectations, by creating an open pathway for the universe to send us what we’ve been dreaming of. It’s a two-part deal: (1) The universe creates opportunities, and then (2) We need to take action on those opportunities in order to receive the abundance that is meant for us. When you are consistently taking decisive & inspired action, you can expect miracles to begin arriving at your front doorstep.

  4. Know deeply that if you have a desire, there is a reason you feel so passionately about it, and there is a way for you to accomplish it. We are always surrounded by amazing solutions to our problems, solutions that will bring us the happiness, freedom, and income that we need and want; it’s just a matter of SEEING the opportunities that are there. We are each capable of so much more than we perceive on a day to day basis. So let go of that small version of yourself. Open up to your full potential, know that you have these ideas and longings and passions for a very important reason, and seek out those ways to accomplish what you most deeply desire to bring forth into the world.

I know these 4 steps are not easy. They can often bring up fear and doubt. But they are absolutely the TRUTH and once you step into them, big changes ALWAYS start to happen.

The world needs YOU to step out fully on your highest path, bring your life’s purpose to fruition, raise the consciousness & awareness of all the people with whom you come into contact, and make the world a better place, in the way that only YOU can do. All of our children and grandchildren are depending on us to take heart right now, step forward with courage, and do this work. The next 7 generations are counting on us.

Accessing The Mystery

By | Uncategorized

We are each the center of a universe,

Pulsing, becoming,

Drifting in & out of consciousness,

Expanding outward in ever-widening layers

To encompass a fully lived life.


When we are awake, the sun cycles round us.

We feel joy upon hearing laughter;

We give love when there are tears.

We receive messages from Spirit,

We tap into intuition to guide us,

We play,

We run,

We savor our food that grows from the Earth

And provides our cells with continued life.


When we sleep, the Dreamtime arrives.

We romp in the universal consciousness.

The moon blankets everything in its silvery glow.

Mysterious renewal occurs; our brains & bodies rejuvenate.

Sometimes, stirring in the darkness,

We float in the liminal space between worlds

Before drifting back to sleep.

When we wake with the rising sun, a new cycle begins.


We are each a tiny cyclone

Of births, deaths,

Children laughing,

Birds swooping,

Trees rustling,

Storms gathering,

The calm of sleep,

The fierceness of ocean waves.

The universe sends to each of us beauty, intensity, and possibility.


Each time we step outside we are surrounded by the mystery.

It is in everything.

A crackling fire,

An eagle soaring overhead, 

A deer with spectacular antlers,

The stars sweeping through a clear night sky,

The oxygen we breathe.

Swollen buds in springtime,

Mirroring the rounded glory of a pregnant mama’s belly.

The trees who with their trunk and branches are oddly so much like us.

The cycles of the moon, waxing and waning,

Bringing tidal waves of emotion to our watery bodies.

The toning of whales,

The lilting sweet songs of birds that wake us at sunrise,

The calling of geese,

The paw lines where polar bears tread,

The warm fur-lined burrows of rabbits.

Raucous sounds from otherworldly insects

In the jungle night.

We are a part of all of this.

All of it is a part of us.

We have lived many lives before;

We have experienced all of these places,

All of these sounds,

All of these knowings.

They are each intimately familiar to us,

If we dig deep for that memory.


Long ago, we dug up herbs to heal family members,

We gave thanks at every sunrise,

We felt the sparkling magic in the messages delivered

Each night in dreams

And each day in the winds or from the animals who appeared by chance.


We are made of magic, and we are destined to return to it.

So go outside,

yes right now,

no matter how hot or cold or windy or rainy it is.

Drop whatever you are doing.

If there are children with you, bring them along, for they are seeking magic too.

Breathe in the fresh air as you step out the door.

Give thanks for the sun and the rain and the wind.

Lay down on the ground,

Or sit on a park bench,

And ask to be shown a miracle.


Open your heart. And see what arrives.


Repeat this practice every day until your life is so filled with the miraculous that you are forever changed.

How To Birth A New Reality Into Being

By | Uncategorized

It was a windy, rainy morning. I felt called to the forest. As I left my backyard, I became entangled in a thornbush, and in passing through its prickly branches, I understood that I was crossing the threshold from everyday reality, into the Dreamtime, the realm that is accessible to all of us, where our deepest memories and knowings run free and unshackled.

I walked deeper into the forest, seeking a tree that would call my name. One tree did, and I lay on the ground beneath it, and began to drum for my journey. My spirit guide met me beneath the surface of the Earth and we emerged into the deep blue ocean.

We swam out into the center of the ocean, and went as deep as we could. A blue whale and her calf joined us. I looked around and saw that many more whales, humpbacks and sperm whales and narwhals and also porpoises and dolphins, were swimming toward us from every direction. They came close to us and began to form a circle around us, an enormous circle of brilliance and intelligence, encircling us, swimming slowly, and peering at us with their huge sparkling eyes that were facing toward the center of the circle.

There were layers and layers of whales and dolphins, as far as the eye could see in every direction: up, down, and concentric circles going out & away from us, larger & larger as they got further away, and all of them were circling around us slowly and carefully. My spirit guide and I were at the center of them all.

Then from within the circle, all of the young ones, the baby whales and porpoises and dolphins, broke through the circle of adults and swam to the center. They gathered there, close to us, playful, smiling. Suddenly then they all dove, all at once, deep beneath us, and then gathering speed they swam toward us from below. They met us and it did not hurt, they were so gentle, they pushed us up and up and up toward the surface of the ocean. We breached with them, leaping up above the top of the water, and then on our descent back toward the water, my spirit guide and I each grabbed a hold of one baby whale and so our re-entry was smooth and we glided along with the great mammals, back down into the depths.

We stayed deep with the babies protectively around us, and watched as next, all of the adult whales and dolphins charged toward the surface, hundreds of them all at once, breaking through waves into the sunshine, leaping up into the air and crashing back down to the sea with their huge, powerful bodies. Bubbles and waves crashed together with them. It was quite a sight from below. I can only imagine what it must have looked like above the surface.

Then the adults came back down and began circling the babies and my spirit guide and I again. The adults were protecting us and the babies. The babies were also protecting us. We were encircled in love, intelligence, and compassion.

The baby dolphins & whales & porpoises began to speak to us. Here is the message that I received from them:

Your little children need your help.

The little children who have been born within the past 4 years, and those who will be born in the future, have been sent to your world with souls from the stars. The human mothers who birthed them, opened portals from the stars at the time of their conception, and these babies who are being born into your world now are the ones who will welcome a new time of peace & creation into being. They have the power, and they have agreed to accept the task, to shift the paradigm in which you humans live.

But they are only babies now, or toddlers, or not yet born. They need time for their strength and power to grow and develop. They need you, all who are adults at this moment. They need you to halt or slow the destruction of the planet in every way that you possibly can.  They need you to stop the large corporations from doing more damage. They need you to prevent the drilling of oil in the rainforests, the Arctic, and other critical areas of the planet. They are depending on you to shut down the building of pipelines and to convince the energy companies that fracking and shale mines and tar sands operations must all end immediately, or it may not be soon enough.

This is not an easy task. But you, the generations who are walking the planet as adults at this time, have received a call from deep within Gaia and from the furthest reaches of the stars. This is a call to drop everything that no longer resonates with your heart & soul, to quiet your mind and open up to accessing the Dreamtime. Search there for the answers from your intuition and from the universal consciousness, the Anima Mundi. Search there and you will know what to do, to assist in this great effort, to pass along to our star children, a world which can still be lifted to a time of peace and magic and creation, like the time before time, before human civilization began, when the humans were one with the animals and with the magic of the cosmos. We can return there, and not too long from now. But everyone today must do their part, without delay, and with full confidence in their innate abilities to change the world.

Furthermore, the little children who are babies and toddlers or not yet born, must be allowed & encouraged to spend time outdoors, must not watch screens that will dull their senses, but instead must be in communion with nature so that they will know that intimate connection with the animate world. The ones who gain this knowledge as little children will be better equipped to welcome in the new time of creation. So send your little ones outside to play, once they are old enough; take them into the woods; find teachers who know the medicinal uses of the plants, how to build shelters and fires from natural materials; how to decipher the meaning of birdsong and animal speak; and let your children spend time with these teachers until they are one with nature. Let your children run wild, at least part of the time, so that they will have the wisdom & innate knowledge they need when their time comes and they are the leaders of the world. If we teach the little children now to respect and honor nature and all of life, then someday they will be the leaders, and the world’s decisions will finally be made by those who understand the sacredness of all things.


Note: I was gifted this message on the morning of November 29th, at almost the exact time of the Sagittarius New Moon.

If you feel inspired to do so, please forward this message on to your friends & family who may be interested: Most especially any families who are awaiting the birth of a new little one; or families who have had babies born to them within the past 4 years or so.

Peace and love to you.

Jocelyn Mercado

Whale Illustration by Phtorxp