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Sky Watchers

I just spent a few days in Southern Colorado,

soaking in hot springs and wandering around the lands of Chimney Rock.

These healing places have been calling me back,

again and again, for almost twenty years.

Here is some beauty and magic to share…

Lunchtime Companion

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Juvenile Bald Eagle

(thank you to my dear friend who is an expert birder who let me know who this is)

Eagle was perched in the middle of the road, standing so steady and strong. I slowed down and pulled off the road. S/he hopped off the pavement onto the hillside, clutching a dead animal in those massive talons. S/he tucked deeper beneath a protective cover of overhanging branches. More eagles circled high above us, their shrill cries rippling through the blue sky. I sensed a family celebration for this young one’s successful finding of food. In the midst of it all, a coyote dashed by.

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Chimney Rock

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Spring Blossoms

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Ancient Sky Watchers

There has been so much magic, so much spirit connection, in the time through the years I’ve spent walking the land around Chimney Rock. I’ve never stopped at the Visitors’ Center or gone on any guided tours. All I really knew was my heartfelt connection to the land and spirits here.

Last week, I crossed paths with a forest ranger who shared his enchantment with this sacred place. I felt inspired by his stories to do the tourist thing and go up to the top of the mesas. Most of all, I wanted to see and feel the sight line from Chimney Rock to Chaco Canyon.

The next day, I signed in at the visitors’ center and hiked up the mountain road. There simply are no words to adequately describe the beauty and power, the awe and mystery.

There are stories about ancestral peoples building fires to communicate between Chimney Rock and Chaco Canyon. These are Sky Watcher lineages, peoples living in relationship with the movement of the cosmos, building their architecturally ingenious structures in alignment with lunar cycles and Solstices. There is so very much more about their lives that has been lost somewhere in the spiraling passages of time.

Yet there is a tangible remembering, a great body of knowledge, living here in land and sky. These ancient ways still touch and guide human hearts, are passed on in traditions and cellular memories, and shape life on our earth.

Looking toward Chaco Canyon…

Sky Watchers &Raquo; Viewtochaco

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Dancing with the Winds

Vultures soared on the winds, so closeby, we could have reached out to touch fingertips to wings.

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I started my journey back down the mountain road when my heart and spirit and eyes and mind simply could not soak in anymore. Walking in the spaciousness of wide-open horizons, immersed in boundless beauty and magic, I felt elated and so alive. Thunder started rumbling. Lightning flashed off in the distance. I was the only one who was traveling on foot. Every car stopped when passing by. Many friendly offers came for a ride to the bottom of the mesa. I was enjoying being out in the elements, even if meant getting rained on. I appreciated people’s caring, the sense of connection that had been shaped by standing together in the mysteries and marveling at the sacred sites.

Sky Watchers &Raquo; Monsoons Building

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Maps of the Heart

Rain poured from the clouds the moment I unlocked my car door. The energy of the wild elements, the joy of the day, were exhilarating. I offered my gratitude for the many gifts, and said my goodbyes to the spirits and the land. Truthfully, I didn’t want to leave and get on the road toward home. I reassured myself I’d come back soon. Following heart lines woven across lands and through time, I’ll keep finding my way back to Chimney Rock and Chaco Canyon.

When I passed through the gate, the hailstorm began. Ancient Spirits have the power to conjure up anything.

Sky Watchers &Raquo; Hail

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Originally Published on

JoAnne Dodgson Ceremonial Healing

JoAnne Dodgson’s life is centered in the lineage of Ka Ta See and the path of the kala keh nah seh ~  medicine storyteller, weaver of webs of balance, healer, teacher, and ceremonial guide. She offers ceremonial healing, apprenticeships, and retreats to remember our belonging and weave harmony in our relationships with ourselves, each other, our earth, and web of life.

JoAnne has been learning, living, and sharing the ways of the kala keh nah seh for over twenty years. She has a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a specialty in Holistic Health. As a therapist and community activist, she worked in trauma healing centers and college counseling centers. She has been on the faculty in Transpersonal Psychology, Women’s Studies, and Holistic Health programs. Earlier in her career, JoAnne was a teacher in public schools and residential programs for adolescents. She also served as the director of a women’s shelter.

To share her passion for the healing medicine of stories, JoAnne has written several books including Spirit of Chocolate: A Woman’s Journey to the Rainforest in Search of Her Dreams and UnLeashing Love. She lives in the enchanted desert mesas of New Mexico.

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