by Donna Henes
I fly, I soar, I zoom through the skies in my dreams and
in my shamanic journeys, but I am not a great flyer on
planes. So when I do venture onto an aircraft piloted by
someone else, I have a whole series of little protective
rituals to help get me from point A to point B in one
Before I leave my house, I bless myself on the back
of my neck, a point of great vulnerability. I also bless
my home, my animals, and my altar to be safe in my
absence. When I get to the airport, I bless myself with
a swig of vodka that I carry with me in an antique
flask. And upon entering the plane, I bless that, too,
with protection oil.
But most critical of all is my travel altar, also
known as my amulet bag. This is a pink brocade Chinese
silk packet filled to the bursting point with the charms
and totems that inspire, calm, and empower me wherever I
may be. Just feeling its considerable
bursting-at-the-seams weight in my purse gives me
confidence and a sense of security.
A few years ago, while waiting anxiously for a
flight, I reached for my pocketbook altar bag only to
discover to my absolute horror that I did not have it
with me. Omigoddess. What to do? I was determined to
reassemble my amulets and recreate my altar in my mind.
That way, I might still connect with and concentrate on
So I removed myself to the cocktail lounge where I
sat at a table and summoned up the contents of my travel
altar one by one then listed them in my Guadalupe
- A crow’s foot. The one I took from a road kill
crow. It is my mature wisdom.
- A little tin airplane with a black silk tassel. The
one my five-year old niece told me was going to help me
- A gold pin that says ritual. A gift from Tommy
- My gramma’s diamond ring that I always loved, but
could never wear.
- My Navaho ring. A gift from Kay that has all the
symbols of Spider Woman, my vision.
- A piece of polished moose horn. From my time in the
north woods bush at Thunder Bay in Canada.
- A city stone. An odd shaped double stone from Omar
who gave it to me because I "like stuff like
- An Egyptian scarab. From Daile for long life and
- A lock of Bud’s hair. For love and protection,
- A crown feather from my fine feathered friend, Ola.
A Queenly offering.
- An amythyst pyramid to focus my intuitive senses.
- My rainbow crystal to channel light.
- A citrine crustal to mediate the dark.
- A peona seed for power.
- A cowry shell for creation.
- A blue ball for purity.
- A worry doll to take away my troubles.
- A Cunt Goddess for sexual healing.
- A Tibetan skull carved from a skull to remind me of
- A copper lidded jar filled with healing soil from
- And medals of Guadalupe, Mother Cabrini, an angel,
and the Venus of Willendorf.
Ah. Putting them on paper made me feel much better.
There they were, all present and accounted for. I turned
the list over and Inscribed my affirmation on the other
"I am safe.
I am calm.
I am centered."
I lit a bar match to ignite my intentions. And
toasted them with another bit of vodka. Then I folded my
list into my pocket and went to board my plane. I
stepped into the skyway that afternoon with the same
sacred calm and sense of cosmic rightness that I always
feel after praying at my altar. I was connected and
protected. And I actually enjoyed my flight.
© Copyright 2004
Donna Henes. All Rights
Donna Henes, Urban Shaman, is the editor and publisher of the highly
acclaimed quarterly, Always In Season: Living In Sync with the Cycles. She is
also the author of Moon Watcher's Companion, Celestially Auspicious
Occasions: Seasons, Cycles and Celebrations and Dressing Our Wounds In Warm
Clothes, as well as the CD, Reverence To Her: Mythology, The Matriarchy & Me.
In 1982, she composed the first (and to this date, the only) satellite peace
message in space: "chants for peace * chance for peace."
Mama Donna, as she is affectionately known, has offered lectures, workshops,
circles, and celebrations worldwide for 30 years. She is the director of Mama
Donna's Tea Garden & Healing Haven, a ceremonial center, ritual consultancy
and spirit shop in Exotic Brooklyn, New York.
For further information, a list of services and publications, a calendar of
upcoming events and a complimentary issue of Always in Season: Living in Sync
with the Cycles. contact:
MAMA DONNA'S TEA GARDEN AND HEALING HAVEN
PO Box 380403
Exotic Brooklyn, NY 11238-0403
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