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a healing totem

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Oct. 22nd, 2006 | 10:25 pm

My voice blog isn't working tonight so I am writing instead. And its a perfect night to do so:

I want to share this e-mail and the stories of the raising of this totem from my wonderful friend Martina. You can see her in the green parka and colorful snowcap in the first picture. Before I was diagnosed with cancer my primary focus was to help protect the Alaskan Rainforest for Greenpeace (and it will be again). The place has simply changed my life. Wildlife is still in balance in some places there, which means every species is intact. And there is still the possibility to live sustainably if one chooses to do so, for now.

Its also a place in need of healing -- between peoples, and between people's relationship with the earth.

I am so very grateful to be a small part (a cedar chip) of the raising of this healing totem in Sitka.

(I hope you don't mind Martina that I have posted this and THANK YOU so much to everyone that has been praying and wellwishing for my recovery everywhere.)

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Hi all,
I just received some pictures of the raising of the "Wellbriety" totem pole last Saturday in Sitka. It was an exciting and remarkable event, and I am very happy I was an active participant. It's unbelievable what people can do if they work together.
Attached are two articles about the pole and its raising that explain very well what it is all about.
I visited the pole several times during the weeks before it was finished. Jeremy, I want you to know that each time I sent thoughts and wishes for healing your way. I also wrote your name on a red cedar chip and put it in a large box with many others names. This box was present during the ceremonies following the raising.  Wayne the carver performed a wild dance with an adze in each hand as a sign to release the pole to its new owners, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
A few days after the raising I still felt my sore arms. Larry, unfortunately, could not participate. He was in Washington DC.



click on an image to enlarge it

At the bottom of the pole there is Devils Club (ginseng horribilis), a much appreciated shrub of the rainforest with wonderful healing powers, representing mother earth. On top of it kneels medicine woman who is holding a basket of wild medicinal herbs. She has big ears so that she can listen well. A single tear is under her left eye though she is smiling. Her finger and toenails are painted red to make sure everybody understands that this is a contemporary pole.
Above the female healer sits the wolf to represent the dark side. On top of him is medicine man. He has rattles in his hands and every now and then crosses over to the dark side and brings back people into recovery. 
The bare part of the pole represents the sky, and the raven on top is carrying the moon. The light of the moon means that there is always hope and chance for recovery and healing. The raven by the way is smiling with his beak and eyes.
Everybody who stood near the pole agrees that there is something very special around it. I could feel it. Now that the pole is up I have already visited it three times.
It's Saturday again, and raining as hard as a week ago.
Love from Sitka,

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