2020 Winter Edition of Essence / February 2021

 Newsletter for Essence of Spirit Ceremonies|Maine Shamanism|Maine Officiants

Weighty Matters

One of my favorite winter pastimes is to watch the myriad of wildlife that grace the forest of the land that I call home. The daily count may include a red bellied sapsucker, a weasel seen in the earliest morning light or a small herd of deer as the sun sinks low in the horizon. On one occasion gazing out my window I noticed a Jay hopping about on the snow underneath one of the bird feeds where I had tossed out a handful of peanuts. Jay would pick up a peanut, take a hop or two, drop the peanut only to pick up a different peanut, hop and drop it and so on until finally settling on what seemed like the first peanut it tried out at the beginning of this quest. Quest for what exactly I mused? The perfect peanut I imagined but by what measurement?

 I wondered if perhaps Jay was measuring the weight of the peanut? Testing it to see if the weight of the peanut would allow it to swoop up high into the nearest tree top to enjoy the tasty treat? After all flight is a tricky thing I imagined. Flight in fact is a life sustaining navigational feature in the life of a Jay. 

I wondered then for myself. As I navigate my life how do I choose which to carry and which to leave aside? In today’s current global state of concerns of an ongoing pandemic, environmental woes, social injustice and economic uncertainties among just a few peanuts on the ground. Then there are my own personal weighty matters. How do I choose what to carry on my shoulders or in my heart? Unlike the Jay who hops about as if testing the weight against its ability to take flight 

I rely on Spirit to guide me. 

Some concerns are meant to be teachers offering an opportunity for reflection and perspective. I can carry them for a short distance; just long enough to gain the intended wisdom then set it down. Other concerns; like honoring the suffering of others, can easily be carried in my heart as compassion while holding it up to Spirit to transmute into Grace.Others yet are not in my best interest to try to hold on to so they are given up to Spirit entirely. 

Knowing what is ours to carry and what is best given up is part of a divine sorting process that is available to us. We need only to ask for guidance and listen for the answers.

Sometimes we can lighten the load of our neighbor by sharing the weight. I have read countless stories of neighbors helping neighbors in all myriads of beautiful ways. 

I’m waiting to see a pair of Jays share a peanut!

Featured Workshop Opportunity

March 27 & 28, 2021  

Contemporary Shamanism: The Way of the Journey 

A virtual weekend classroom 

Led by Jody Breton, Briana Andreoni, Colette Catlin, and John Moore,

The practice of shamanism is ancient yet it is also modern, contemporary, and currently practiced throughout the world. Join millions of people like yourself who have learned how to safely travel into dimensions of reality not commonly experienced in everyday life. Find your Power Animals and other Helping Spirits. Learn how they communicate and how their powers can help you heal, provide you with wisdom, and expand your inner power. This is a powerful workshop that will prepare you to continue shamanic journeys on your own as well as give you the foundation for further, more advanced, shamanic studies.

To register please go to

July 7-10, 2021

Ferry Beach Retreat and Conference Center

Saco, Maine

Shamanism: An Ancient Practice For Contemporary Times

Led by Jody Breton, assisted by Brianna Andreoni

Ferry Beach Retreat and Conference Center

A 3 day hybrid workshop event featuring both an on site gathering and virtual programming where you will learn the fundamentals of Core Shamanism. Learn the shamanic journey method and how to apply the practice to build relationships with spirit helpers that enhance, empower and enliven everyday living.

 This event promises to be a very rich opportunity to deep dive into the practical ways of integrating an ancient, cross cultural and mystical pathway into our day to day. Together we will also create beautiful ceremonies, creativity and sharing circles.

Stay tuned for more information and registration information that will be posted on my website:


Are you seeking deeper insights into your physical, emotional or spiritual energies?

 Do you desire personal power to overcome any of your life challenges?

Shamanism is a pathway to wisdom and healing for ourselves and our planet.

. Offered in a safe, ethical and compassionate setting. 

Contact Jody at

Sisters at the Table

A monthly virtual circle where women come together to share personal stories, offer support and inspiration.

Find us on Facebook Groups

The hope is that we will once again meet in person with mask-less smiles!

Dates and Zoom link are posted monthly on the Sister at The Table Facebook group page.