Dec. 20, 2015
A Saami shaman from Lappland, in northern Finland, above the arctic circle. This is where the modern myth of Santa flying on his sled pulled by reindeer from the North Pole originates. Reindeer are the “power animal” of the Saami shamans, on which they fly to higher dimensions. I’ve visited and worked with them on several trips to Finland.
2016 Spring & Summer Schedule: NOW is always the best time to choose your highest path.
1. Dec. 20, Sunday- 7 pm TONIGHT: Winter Solstice Black Dragon Ceremony (Free)
At our Asheville home, details below. To RSVP, hit reply. Still have room for a few more.
2. March 5- 6, 2016 (Sat/Sun): Fusion of the 5 Elements: Emotional Alchemy
In Asheville. Only $144. Contact Jan: email@example.com 888 999 0555
3. April 10, (Sunday 10-5) 2016: Kong Jing – Empty Force Breathing, NY Open Center
4. April 29 – May 1, 2016 (Sat/Sun): Fusion of the 5 Elements 2 & 3
Psychic Alchemy Opens the MACRO-cosmic Orbit. In Asheville.
5. June 10-12, 2016 (Fri eve- Sun): Primordial Tai Chi as Cosmic Medicine.
Medical Qigong Symposium at Eastover, MA. (with Mantak Chia, Li Jun Feng, Lee Holden….)
6. June 17 – July 23, 2016 Tao Summer Retreats. see below (HealingTaoRetreats.com website is not yet updated).
7. Aug. 12 – 30, 2016: China Dream Trip. Details coming soon!
FEEL FREE TO HIT REPLY and RESPOND. I love hearing from you!
Dear Lovers of the Real Story Behind Santa,
I promise not to disappoiint or disillusion your Inner Child, the one that grew up with magical stories about Santa. In fact, it turns out that they are all true!
But first, may each of you feel deeply the beauty and stillness within this Winter Solstice. It’s high point is Monday at midnight (EST), but the event spreads its bliss over several days. I’ve scheduled a group ceremony and meditation on the day going “into” it (tonight, Sunday). It is such a powerful natural holy-day that many religions have appropriated its energy of re-birthing the light and positioned their own cultural holidays around it.
Historians of religion all acknowledge how unlikely it was that Jeshua of Nazareth, aka Jesus, was born on Dec. 25. It’s rather a case of one succesful religion (some say because it was backed by a Roman Emperor) stacked atop the remains of prior Roman cults of Mithra. That story is buried under two thousand years of history. But the cult of Sant Nick, or Saint Nicolas, is European in origin and much more modern.
L: Saami men with their traditional hats that are based on the sacred directions. R: you can buy a lovely version of one on Etsy. I have several, love wearing them. It’s like having a spiritual compass on my head.
I loved Santa growing up, loved the tree, the lights, the Christmas dinner, the toys, the stocking, leaving cookies out for Santa, the music, the reindeer myth, everything about it was nice. Except the fact that I had to come up with eight presents to please everyone in my large family. So eventually the materialism of it lost its tinsel shine.
But I never thought much about Santa’s origins until I began visiting the Saami shamans of northern Finland in the 1990’s, when I was in my 40’s. LIke most people, I just accepted my culture as having myths, that is what makes them mythical. I was doing some spiritual work with a group led by Michael Morgan, who has detailed our journey to Finland in his book The Emerlad Covenant (available on Amazon).
We were guided to a special frozen lake above the Artic Circle with a pyramid shaped island in the middle of it that was sacred to the Saami people. That pyramid island happened to be the crossing point for three ley lines, known as “dragon lines” in Chnese feng shui. It was that triple convergence that allowed us to do some very powerful spiritiual work.
The Saami ceremony that accompanied that work involved a ritual of eating reindeer bone marrow in order to enable us to “fly” to other dimensions. I had noticed the pointy hand-made leather elf shoes worn by the Saami, which they graciously lent me a pair of for my journey across the frozen lake. We started it on snowmobiles, but mine broke down and I had to hike through the snow-covered ice to get to the island. The elf-shoes worked great, my feet were toasty, with straw stuffed inside them for insulation.
L: Susanne Vars, modern Saami politician, with the “pure light of a fabled race from the North Pole” vibe qualifying her as a shoo-in to be cast as Mrs. Santa (who now wears lipstick). R: Saami girls learn to manage reindeer at an early age.
I didn’t put all these “Santa-like” clues together until the shamans told us the history of their people. How rigid Swedish Christian missionaries had travelled north to convert the Saami from their heathen ways. They handcuffed their spiritual leader – the top Saami shaman – and took him by heavily guarded carriage back to Sweden to incarcerate him.
Lithograph from 1823 expeditioin to Lappland, as the land of the Saami is also known.
The problem is that this shaman was very good at flying. The Bible-toting Swedes were amazed to disover that their prisoner had simply disappeared – literally flown away. They didn’t know about his flying reindeer allies. So in the end, they failed to convert the Saami to Christianity. But they apparently were charmed by the lore and outfits of the Saami to appropriate them and colorize their own Christmas story. That spread to the rest of Europe, where it mixed with myths from other cultures before arriving in America. Of course, there are many other theories about Santa’s origin. I am merely illuminating a particular aspect of this multi-cultural myth.
» Winter Solstice Black Dragon Ceremony Sunday. Dec. 20 7 pm
» Wisdom of an Old Jewish Sage (anecdote)
» 2016 Summer Retreat Schedule
» Santa’s Drum (Photo)
Winter Solstice Black Dragon Ceremony Sunday. Dec. 20 7 pm
Winter Solstice is when dark yin water begins its shift into the fire of light.
•Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015 7pm – 11:30 pm at our Asheville home.
• WINTER SOLSTICE BLACK DRAGON CEREMONY (+ music & meditation)
Winter Solstice Black Dragon Ceremony 7 PM SUNDAY. Dec. 20
At our home in Asheville, N.C.
FREE. RSVP required. To RSVP: HIT REPLY. Driving directions will be sent.
Note: my last newsletter mistakenly listed Dec. 20 as “Saturday”. The Celestial Party starts SUNDAY. The peak of Winter Solstice is Monday night Dec. 21 at 11:49 pm EST. But it’s really a slow moving, three day event.
PLEASE ARRIVE BY 7pm, the start time of our Music-Making Concert.
If you stay for both meditation sittings, expect to leave around 11 pm.
• WINTER SOLSTICE BLACK DRAGON CEREMONY
Winter is governed by the Water Element, the primal power behind all birthing. So good to meditate in advance on one’s intent for this powerful time: What is that our soul most needs to birth at this time? During the ceremony, we will release our intent to the Cosmos to fulfill.
WEAR BLACK or DARK BLUE CLOTHING ITEMS to establish deep color resonance with water.
Join us for a powerful Black Dragon Ceremony, live musical fun and deep meditation on the cosmic harmonic richness of Winter Solstice. Two meditation sittings, must stay for at least one (not concert/ceremony only).
8:05 – 9:05 pm: First Meditation (choose your favorite silent method)
9:20 – 10:30 pm: Second Meditation
If you cannot attend in person, I encourage everyone to do their own ceremony or gather in groups with family and friends.
Wisdom of an Old Jewish Sage (anecdote)
Since Jesus was Jewish, I thought it would be appropriate to share some Holy-day wisdom from an old Jewish Man. It’s a story from Israel, the Holy Land where Jesus was born to Jewish parents.
A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been
She went to check it out and went to the Western Wall. There he was,
She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to
“Pardon me, sir, I’m Rebecca Smith from CNN. What’s your name?
“Morris Feinberg,” he replied.
“Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?”
“For about 60 years.”
“60 years! That’s amazing! What do you pray for?”
“I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims.”
“I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop.”
“I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults
“I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of
“How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?”
“Like I’m talking to a fucking wall.”
2016 Summer Retreat Schedule
Healing Tao Summer Retreats 2016
Mars Hill, near Asheville, North Carolina
HealingTaoRetreats.com 888-750-1773 info@HealingTaoRetreats.com
Retreat tuition is still only $495. For entire week! Tax deductible 501c3.
China Dream Trip: Aug. 12-30, 2016 led by Michael Winn
Week 1 June 17 – 22, 2016 (Fri-Wed) + Summer Solstice Ceremony
1a. Medical & Spiritual Qigong Fundamentals 1-4 – Michael Winn
Week 2 June 24 – 29, 2016 (Fri-Wed)
2a. Healing Love: Taoist Sexual Secrets – Michael Winn & Minke de Vos
2b. Fusion 1 Emotional Alchemy + Iron Shirt 1 Rooting – Andrew McCart
Week 3 July 1- 6, 2016 (Fri-Wed)
3a. Medical Qigong for Energy Healing – Minke de Vos
3b. Inner Sexual Alchemy (Lesser Kan & Li) – Michael Winn
3c. Tai Chi Qigong #1 Rooting + #2 Fast Fighting Form – Steven Sy
3d. Fusion 2 & 3 Macro-Orbit + Iron Shirt 2&3 (Bone Marrow Washing) – Andrew McCart
Week 4 July 8- 13, 2016 (Fri-Wed)
4a. Chi Nei Tsang 1: Deep Organ Massage – Jampa Stewart
4b. Sun-Moon Alchemy: Clearing Bloodlines (Greater Kan & Li)
– Michael Winn
4c. Tao Yin + Primordial Qigong – Steven Sy
Week 5 July 15- 20, 2016 (Fri-Wed)
5a. Chi Nei Tsang 2: Open Wind Gates – Jampa Stewart
5b. Deep Healing Medical Qigong Form – Steven Sy
5c. Star Alchemy: Oversouls & Destiny Time Lines– Michael Winn
5d. Bagua training – t.b.a.
(Frank Allen has taken 1 year break- we’re in discussion with a temporary replacement)
Santa’s Drum (Photo)
Saami Shaman’s drum, from reindeer hide, with esoteric markings on it to assist in journeying to other realms.
Loving the True Dark Side of the Clear Light,
“Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
“The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
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