Keynote: The Power of Rhythm and Discrimination
Cycle of Power: Summer



The woodpecker is one of those birds whose history is filled with myth and lore, much of it in connection with its most notable characteristics--the drumming. It is a relative of the flicker and they share many of the same qualities and characteristics. In the European folk tradition, the woodpecker was often considered a weather prophet, its drumming indicating forthcoming changes. It was even believed by some to be a thunderbird. In Babylonia, it was considered the ax of Ishtar and was associated with fertility. In the Greek tradition it occupied the throne of Zeus, considered sacred to this god of thunder. It was also considered the oracle of Mars, again because drumming was often used to accompany battles. The Romans also had a legend of the woodpecker. The powerful enchantress Circe fell in love with the woodland god Picus. When he rejected her love, she turned him into a woodpecker. In the Native American tradition it is a bird connected to the heartbeat of the Earth itself. This drumming has many mystical connections, from new life rhythms to applications of shapeshifting. Many shamans learn to ride drumbeats into other dimensions.

There are, of course, different kinds of woodpeckers, each with their own unique qualities. Most are black and white, and some have red upon the head. The black and white reflects the need to see issues and aspects of life clearly. It reflects that things are fairly clear if we look closely. The downy woodpecker is the smallest. It is also the most common and most friendly member of the woodpecker family. The pileated, found most often in forests, is the expert woodchopper. Often as big as a crow, it is the largest of the woodpeckers. It has the conspicuous red crest.

woodpeckerThe red-headed woodpecker is also very common. While most woodpeckers, particularly males, have some red on the head, the red-headed woodpecker has a red mantle of feathers that covers its head and neck. The red found in the head area of any woodpecker reflects a stimulation of the mental activities and the head chakra centers. It reflects a stimulation and wakening of new mental faculties. This is even further symbolized by the pecking that is the trademark of this bird. Woodpeckers peck holes in trees and wood to get at grubs and other insects. This digging in, especially with the head, reflects increasing analysis. Their bills are strong and sharply pointed, and their skulls are heavier, facilitating the hammering. Their sharp bill and its long-barbed tongue can be likened to the art of discrimination. If a woodpecker has drummed out a song for you, then you should ask yourself some specific questions. Are you looking at aspects of your life rationally? Are others around you not discriminating in their activities? Are you? Are you or others in your life just jumping into situations with little or no analysis?

Sometimes the woodpecker will show up just to stimulate new rhythms. Rhythm is a powerful means of affecting the physical energies. Sometimes it is easy to get so wrapped up in our daily mental and spiritual activities that we neglect the physical. This can be when the woodpecker shows up. It may also reflect a need to drum some new changes and rhythms into your life.

The woodpecker has strong hooked claws for firm holds upon a tree. Its tail feathers help to prop it up right. It also has a peculiar up and down flight. It will fly, coast down, fly and then coast down. It flies in a manner and rhythm unique to itself. All of this serves to emphasize the fact that it will become increasingly important for you to follow your own unique rhythms and flight. Do what works for you in the manner best for you. When woodpecker comes into your life, it indicates that the foundation is there. It is now safe to follow your own rhythms.

Andrews, Ted. Animal Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great and Small (pp. 206-208). Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.. Kindle Edition.

What to Expect

The workshop will do several shamanic journeys over the course of the weekend. A large altar/vortex is created with many stones. This creates a massive energetic field.

Who Should Come

All interested parties with journey experience.

What to Bring

Please bring any rocks or cedar related items that want to come along. A journal with colored pencils or pens is encouraged as well as any comforts such as blankets, pillows, etc.


Dinner will be served on Friday night, Saturday: breakfast, lunch and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch. Departure at 2-3 pm.

When and Where to Come

Registration will begin at 12:00 noon on Friday, June 5th at Camp Asbury. The workshop will begin at 3:00 PM Friday running into the night, Sat-all day and into the evening, and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 2-3:00 p.m. The workshop will be held at Camp Asbury, 10776 Asbury Rd., Hiram Ohio 44234.

What to Pay

The fee for the workshop is $450 if paid in full by May 1st, 2020. If paid after May 1st, 2020, the fee is $495. This includes room and six hot meals as listed above. The deposit will not be transferred or refunded. It will be applied to the guaranteed fee of Camp Asbury.

To hold your space, send $125 nonrefundable deposit now, payable to Herb Stevenson, to 10616 Pekin Road, Newbury, Ohio 44065. For further information, kindly call Herb @ 440-338-1705 or email Lisa Roll Kayser, kayseroll23@gmail.com to reserve a space in the circle. Please send final check also payable to Herb Stevenson, to 10616 Pekin Road, Newbury, Ohio 44065. Once paid-in-full you will receive info on your stay at Camp Asbury.

Due to the workshop focus and the unique facilities, the attendance will be limited to 26 people.


Ted Andrews, Animal Speak

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