Saturday, April 25, 2015

'The Butterfly Effect' by Madame Butterfly (audio)

Published on Apr 25, 2015
April 5th Guest Speaker at Barrie Spiritualists Sunday Service was Madame Butterfly. Michelle McGrahan Devlin is a Psychic, Healer,Writer, Storyteller, Teacher, and Champion of the butterflies, birds and faerie folk, her friends and Spirit Guides.
She will help us to connect with the true heart of nature.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day the Canadian way: A drum circle and bonfire in Innisfil

 Earth Day at 8 p.m. EST, we turned off all the lights in the house, even going so far as to unplug the TV. We grabbed our hand drums and tambourines off the wall and headed over to next door neighbour Gary's house. There in the backyard, at the end of the garden, his fire pit was glowing and crackling with a roaring fire, while the steady sound of drums could be heard from his CD player.
I had asked Gary if we could come and join him for Earth hour, as I wanted to drum for the worldwide drum circle I had signed up for on Facebook, and I knew Gary would understand. The fire was warm and toasty, and my son and I sat together on the bench while Riley whittled a stick with a beautiful bone pen knife that Gary had given him last summer, and watched the fire making pictures for us while we listened to the song of the drums, the voices of the native singers touching a chord deep inside, that spoke of ancient traditions and a deep reverence for the land. The passion in the voices of the singers made me want to weep, made my heart leap, filled me with both joy and excitement.
Gary wore his First Nations jacket and a cowboy hat. He has practically lived at the fire pit at the end of his garden, where he has built a "man cave" out of old pieces of wood and plywood. Ever since his heart attack, Gary says he can't sleep indoors. On all but the coldest nights he sleeps in the cabin, where a little space heater and the heat from his nightly fires keeps him toasty warm.
Inside his sleeping bag he says he doesn't feel the cold too much. His wife, inside the house in their warm modern home, has long since given up on trying to get him to come inside. He just likes it better out at the little cabin, where he can sit by the fire and watch the night sky and listen to his songs, he explains. And he can't breathe inside the house...ever since the heart attack, he can't seem to breathe so well when he tries to sleep inside.
Gary gave me a little leather pouch that had some sacred herbs inside, he explained, and told me to throw some on the fire. Asking Creator to bless Mother Earth and to help to heal her on this Earth Day 2013, we prayed for a day when we would live harmoniously with Earth again.
 Riley, who at 9 is already showing signs of having some special powers, suddenly said "By 2025."
We wished upon the first star, Betelgeuse, which was twinkling up in the indigo sky as the moon rose up behind the tall trees between our houses. We drummed and sang until Riley got sleepy and I took him home to bed. It was a special hour, and was exactly what I had hoped it would be - spiritual, inspiring, and profound.
Happy Earth Day to all of you around the world and may we all live in harmony and peace! Namaste!

image taken from

Monday, April 20, 2015

'Starlight, Starbright' - Chapter One - '...First star I see tonight...I wish I may, I wish I might....have the wish I wish tonight....'

I awoke with a start, heart beating wildly, eyes searching the gloom surrounding me. All was still. Crickets chirruped outside my window, through which moonlight floated, silvery soft in the warm summer air.
I rose silently and padded across the thick carpet towards the gentle breeze. The sky was dusted with stars that night, sparkling and twinkling with an unusual brightness. I looked at them for a long time, gazing at them, studying their patterns and positions.
They had always fascinated me, ever since I was a small child and had wished upon the first one to appear each evening. Their secrets held me in rapture and their power held me in awe. I loved them.
This night, however, was different. I was somehow drawn to them. My eyes were like magnets, unable to resist their pull. I could not stop looking, searching, studying.
They seemed to call out to me, they whispered to me, and caressed me with their light. I was drunk upon their brightness, giddy and laughing. They laughed with me, those stars. They winked at me like old friends. They were omniscient and they were omnipotent. They filled me and surrounded me. They were alive....
I will never know just how long I stood there. Seconds, minutes, hours, all flew past me, for the moment was timeless. I was still standing sentinel at the open window when the golden sun's rays found me next morning, chilled to the bone and pale with exhaustion.
I felt drained throughout my whole being, as though I had fought a war alone, or run a marathon. My mind was empty of all thoughts or emotions. It was nothing but blackness, dark as jet, and was filled with the white, blinding light of a single, giant star....
* be continued...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Windrunner's Tale: The Prophesy of the Rainbow Warriors - Chapter One

From the distant hill Windrunner could see the plume of thick black smoke coming from the tarnished fields. Keeping low, he ran towards them, his moccasin-clad feet skillfuly traversing the forest floor. He was, after all, an 'Indian' he thought, with a wry chuckle. If he couldn't sneak up on a bulldozer, then what the hell kind of native was he? 

Up at the top of the hill he peered down at the scene below. A large convoy of trucks were parked in a row, each one carrying enormous black pipes...pipes for the pipeline that was already being built, meant to one day soon snake across the entire breadth and width of Turtle Island, carrying the thick, corrosive black sludge that would one day be made into oil. 
Windrunner wasn't sure how he was going to do it, but he knew that he had to stop them. He knew that the lakes and rivers would not survive the inevitable spills that would result, spewing corrosive black poison all over the sacred hunting and fishing grounds. He knew that this was his destiny. Ever since he was a young boy growing up his mother had told him about the prophecy of the great snake that would threaten to devour Turtle Island, and how a time would come when people of every colour and race would come together to save the world for the next seven generations. They would be known as the rainbow warriors, their coming foretold in ancient Cree prophesy. 

Windrunner knew that this was the time, and he knew that he was prepared to die protecting the land of his ancestors. He watched the activity below for a little while longer, his brow knitted over his dark brown eyes, his shiny straight black hair blowing in the wind. He looked like a young warrior, not so different from the ones who had stood here on this land just a few short centuries ago, before the white man came with his wholesale death and destruction. His strong chiselled jaw clenched as he watched the men below in their hard hats and orange vests scurrying around like ants. He wished he could crush the sinister black pipeline with his fist, and squinted and jokingly pretended to do so. Above, the sudden cry of a hawk jolted him from his game. He turned swiftly and ran, back to the place he called home, back to the small but tidy 'res' house where he had lived all his life.
Ever since his father had died from cancer he had been the man of the house, taking care of his mother and younger sister. They didn't have much but they had each other.  Mom said the poisons from working and living downstream from the tarnished fields is what killed father. Windrunner had seen the fish with tumors and sickness, coming downstream, and he could feel it in the air too, could see the blackness settle over all things.
Windrunner had a way of hearing and seeing things sometimes, things that others could not see. Often these 'tellings' were whispered to him by the wind, and he would go run in the plains and fields until he understood what the wind wanted him to know. Now Windrunner needed to know what one young First Nations man could do to stop the onslaught of the black death snake. He needed to talk to the Great Spirit and to ask for guidance. There were rumblings from the North and the South of a great awakening happening, and a resistance movement that was growing, something as unstoppable as a grass fire on a windy day.
But Windrunner needed to know more, needed to decide what was the best course of action. He stopped running, his eye catching the flash of something yellow on the ground. It was a feather, as bright and vivid as the sunshine itself. Windrunner stuck it in his headband, and took it as a good sign, an omen of hope. He would use it later when he smudged, and asked for guidance from Spirit. Then he would give it to little Meggie for her collection, she loved bright shiny things so, just like the magpie she was nicknamed after. 

Authors Note: This is Chapter One of The Prophecy of the Rainbow Warriors, a fictitious tale inspired by the Idle No More movement and the struggle of the Indigenous people of the world to fight government corruption and destruction of their lands. It is a work in progress - if you wish to read more please follow me here on, FB, or Twitter.
MichelleDevlin is based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.
20 X 30 acrylics on canvas. participatory painting with 60 people (kids to elders), a space of learning and dialogue about the devastating project of the tar sands in northern alberta. -FYI painting is available for anyone to use for future actions around oil sands, the land, pipelines, etc.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Special Trip to Blackpool

rip to Bla

'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!"
My trip to Blackpool was a long time coming...thirty-two years to be exact, since I had last gone home, to the place where I was born. This time I was going to meet my real father for the first time, and I was more than just a little excited. We had been corresponding through letters for a couple of years, and a DNA test had corroborated the fact that we were, indeed father and daughter. Now at last we were going to meet face to face, and I was returning home to my birthplace, that raucous, raunchy, rascal of a town, Blackpool, Lancashire.
A holiday seaside resort known for donkey rides on the beach, cockles and mussels, and the famous Blackpool Tower, (a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower built 150 years ago), the town had long-since seen it's heydey. I wondered what it would be like after so long, whether or not it had changed, and if I would remember the streets. I had been a child of twelve when we left for Canada, but the memories were still vivid. Most of all I was excited to meet my father. 
The flight left Toronto at midnight, and soon the dark cold Atlantic lay beneath us. Too excited to sleep, I wanted to see the sun rise over the horizon as we flew towards it, and after a while the clouds were lit by the most glorious colours of gold and pink. It had been so long since I had last seen England. I stayed awake the whole flight, until looking down I saw the sunny green patchwork quilt that was Ireland and Kilkenny below us. I was soon to learn that some of my ancestors had come from this place. 
Landing in Manchester that morning, I must admit I felt a thrill of excitement as the plane's wheels touched ground. I was home again, back in my England. Although I adored Canada and it would now remain my home, the magical island where I was born would always be my homeland. And I would soon see my father face to face. It was almost too much to believe! I had waited so long for this moment. I couldn't believe it was really happening!
Walking down the ramps through the airport I wondered if we would recognize one another. Then suddenly I was walking through the doors towards the waiting room full of people - a tall distinguished white haired gentleman bobbed his head at me from behind the crowd, and I knew him at once. He stepped forward and I said "Hi Dad'. We hugged and then he bustled us off to the car without further ado.
The trip to Blackpool was just under an hour, and although I was exhausted from pulling an all nighter on the plane, I was still too pumped to think about sleep. As we drove on the highway my eyes were drinking in the English countryside and my father's profile. It was just like mine. I had always been told that I looked like my mother, but right away there were things about him that were like me. His hands were long and slender like mine. 

As we approached Blackpool from inland I felt a huge stab of excitement when I saw the Tower for the first time. Part of it was scaffolded off for repairs - the season had not yet begun as it was still mid-June - however the elegant structure dominated the countryside just as I remembered it as a child. I couldn't wait to smell the sea and see the whitecaps once again. I was home at last. 
The next ten days flew by, as Dad and I toured the English countryside to Burnley, the cotton mill town my family hailed from. There I visited the graves of my grandparents, saw the place where Dad was born, and learned more about my ancestors. My great-great-grandmother had been born Margaret Riley, but they called her Maggie, he told me. I was thunderstruck - my two youngest children's names are Maggie and Riley. 
I spent a glorious day exploring downtown Blackpool and visited Abingdon Street Market, which was just the same as I remembered it. In the small street behind the market, and overshadowed by the church my parents were married in was the button shop that had been the house my Granny was born in.
Situated in the town's main square, it had become a charming little restaurant called the 'Five Cafe'. I was able to actually go upstairs to the very rooms where my mother's mother came into the world. Looking out the windows to the Winter Gardens and the Tower in the distance I was struck by the architectural beauty of Blackpool, the gorgeous facades and ornate ironwork of the buildings reminiscent of a bygone era.
This year Blackpool celebrates it's 150th anniversary of holiday-goers, pleasure-seekers and gaiety. It is my hometown, the place where I was conceived and born. How many of Britain's children had been conceived in this Lancashire town I wondered, where people once flocked to 'take the sea air'.
On my last day I walked along the beach, collecting some shells and bits of driftwood to take home to Canada. They smelled like home. As I passed through customs in Manchester the agent noticed the little bag of shells and sand.
"Some mementos from Blackpool beach" I explained.
"Oh Blackpool!" she exclaimed, "Gosh it's been ages since I went to Blackpool.'
"You should go" I told her. "It's still amazing."
And so it is. Blackpool will forever remain a special place, a place full of memories, smells, sounds, and laughter. The taste of Blackpool rock, the famous pink sticks of candy, is still as sweet as the first time I tasted it. And Blackpool, though older and wiser, like myself, still vibrates with it's famously joyful, thrilling, rollercoaster energy. As hometowns go, it's about as special as they get. 
MichelleDevlin is based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.