The Magic Circle

Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within

TREE HUGGING? GO FOR IT! October 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — anndickie @ 3:45 pm


Many ceremonies in “The Magic Circle” are done outdoors.  Often the child is directed to work with a tree, rock, leaf, feather or other natural object.  They will be instructed to draw or write what they learned from nature, from the birds and animals they observed.  Why all this emphasis on the natural world?  In shamanism, we use the wisdom and energy of the earth for understanding and healing.  Naturalist Stephen Moss states that in nature, children experience themselves.  They learn about their inner selves.

Sadly, in today’s society kids spend a lot of time indoors.  More children than ever have  high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, asthma, allergies,  stomach ulcers or irritable bowel. It’s hard to believe that kids have so many stress-related illnesses.  Richard Louv, journalist and author of “The Last Child in the Woods”, calls this lack of outdoor time, “nature deficit disorder”.  On his website,, Louv lists several scientific studies showing time spent in the world of nature can alleviate many of these problems.

In one of the kid’s quotes from “The Magic Circle”, a boy who did the Sensing Tree Energy Ceremony said  “Jen!  The tree really talked to me!  I asked if it knew my friend Mateo and it said it did!  It also told me that all the green trees (this tree had green bark) communicate with each other!”  That is magical!

According to a recent study at the University of Essex, only five minutes of “green exercise” can bring about rapid improvements to mental well-being and self-esteem, especially for young people.  In a study published by The American Medical Association: “Children will be smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities for free and unstructured play in the out-of-doors”.

Walking in the woods one day, I met two mothers with their toddlers.  Moms were chatting by the side of the trail while their children touched and hugged the trees.  One little guy was humming to the tree.  Those moms were wise to give their children the time to connect with nature.    I love hugging trees – yes, actually putting my arms around a tree, resting my cheek against the bark to feel its roughness or smoothness, listening to its sounds.  Those tree hugging babies knew the joy of hugging a tree.

If you and your family aren’t accustomed to spending time outside, how and where do you start?  Imagine going out where the kids can wade in shallow water, lie on the ground and gaze up at the sky, clouds, moon, and stars.   The David Suzuki Foundation has given families a challenge to go out in nature together.   The  Collins family takes their young children on nature adventures.  Mom (Jill) writes “Nature is the greatest classroom you and your child will ever experience.”   To  discover how this family makes these adventures fun for the kids, google David Suzuki Fall Challenge, click on blog and scroll down to Cedar, B.C.  Lots of other suggestions for making the outdoors fun can be found on the Internet.

What have you experienced and learned from being in nature?  Put in a comment.  We’d love to hear from you!

-by Grandmother Ann Dickie


Spirit Moves in Funny Ways October 18, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — anndickie @ 2:43 am

Last spring, we sent 3 boxes of books to in the USA.  It turns out that Canada Post lost 2 of the boxes so only one made it to the Amazon Distribution Center.  We always wondered what happened to those 64 books.  We imagined that perhaps they ended up at an office building and with joy we pictured people in business suits doing the ceremonies on their lunch hours or weekends.

Well, we never thought we’d get a partial answer to where they ended up until last week.  I went onto to check on our inventory and it turns out that used books were being sold but not by us!

“How did that happen?” I wondered.  So I rang Amazon up and asked them about it.  A man on the other end informed me that our inventory was intact and that used copies could be sold online by book vendors. 

“Yeah, I get that,” I said.  “And that would make sense if we’d put enough copies into the world for that to happen.  But we haven’t yet.”

“Well ma’am, I don’t know what to tell you,” he says in an exasperated tone.  “Your inventory is intact and folks are selling used copies of your book.  Is there anything else I can help you with?”

A-ha! Then I remembered the missing books.  Tales of espionage went through my mind entailing our books being stolen at the border to be sold in some underground book selling operation.  And that might have been the case.  There is no way to know for sure.

What struck us as particularly amusing is that our goal had been for the books to be found and sold on and that is exactly what Spirit delivered albeit not in exactly the way we had intended. Needless to say, we continue to learn and laugh as we go through the process of promoting and selling the book.  Spirit definitely has a plan for the book and it is clear that we are not in control of that process! And that is probably a good thing.

Jen Engracio

Calgary AB

October 2013


E-book is Now Out! October 11, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — anndickie @ 6:31 pm


A few of you have asked about resources for shamanic/spiritual ceremonies for kids. Last year, my co-authors and I published a book of ceremonies for kids that is now available in e-book form by donation and in hardcopy form for $24 plus shipping.

Here is a description of the book:

This book contains 23 shamanic ceremonies that any child or adult can do to heal and celebrate the childlike nature within them. It is full of information about what shamanism is and how it can be used in everyday life to bring clarity, ease, and joy to living. It contains two stories that follow the main character, Pete, and his horse, Breeze, on his Vision Quests.

Here is our website with info on how to order the e-book and book as well as other fun free stuff like colouring pages and divining cards online:

Jen Engracio