All Things Alchemical: Finding Treasure and Inspiration in Your Life
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All Things Alchemical is the monthly E-newsletter of personal transformation for those seeking grace and clarity. Enjoy discoveries centered on health, spirit, purpose, archetypes, symbology and artistic expression that will guide you dancing through life.

Note From Kendra


Dear Friends,

In autumn we learn more about ourselves than any other season. In Chinese medicine, autumn is known as the season of metal. Metal, in other words, is the energy of the season. Grief is the emotion of the metal element and of the season. Autumn is a season of letting go and cleansing ourselves of what is no longer needed in our lives. It prepares us to reveal what is most precious in our lives.
When the energy of grief is blocked or imbalanced within us, our expression of grief becomes imbalanced and, perhaps, even inappropriate. It may be excessive and ongoing.  Or, in another extreme, it may be absent, as in those who cannot express their grief.
The power of letting go and surrendering is what gives us our sense of value; surrendering empowers us to look both beyond and within ourselves. Surrendering takes courage to step into the tender, vulnerable places where illumination is needed to facilitate healing of our noble sufferings.
What an early Christmas gift we would be giving to ourselves if we could surrender during this fall season! In doing so, we will give our wholeness to those we cherish and love. We gain from letting go now so that birth and new growth can occur in the seasons to come.

 What if the trees never let go of their dying leaves? 

Peace and with love to you this beautiful, internal season!


Child: Orphan

The Orphan Child is the major character in most well-known children’s stories, among which one could identify Little Orphan Annie, the Matchstick Girl, Bambi, the Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, and many more. The pattern in these stories is reflected in the lives of people who feel from birth as if they are not a part of their family, including the family psyche or tribal spirit. Yet precisely because orphans are not allowed into the family circle, they have to develop independence early in life. The absence of family influences, attitudes and traditions inspires or compels the Orphan Child to construct an inner reality based on personal judgment and experience. Orphans who succeed at finding a path of survival on their own are celebrated in fairy tales and folk stories as having won a battle with a dark force, which symbolically represents the fear of surviving alone in this world.
The shadow aspect manifests when orphans never recover from growing up outside the family circle. Feelings of abandonment and the scar tissue from family rejection stifle their maturation, often causing them to seek surrogate family structures in order to experience tribal union. Therapeutic support groups become shadow tribes of families for an Orphan child who knows deep down that healing these wounds requires moving on to adulthood. Identifying with the Orphan begins by evaluating your childhood memories, paying particular attention to whether your painful history arises from the feeling that you were never accepted as a family member.
Films:  Margaret O’Brien in The Secret Gardens; Victoire Thivisol in Ponette; Hayley Mills in Pollyanna.
Fiction:  David Copperfield by Charles Dickens; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.
Drama:  The Changeling by Thomas Middleton.
Fairy Tales:  Snow White, Cinderella, Bambi, the Little Mermaid.
Religion/Myth:  Romulus and Remus (twins of Roman myth who were cast into the Tiber, miraculously rescued by a she-wolf, and went on to found Rome); Moses; Havelock the Dane (in medieval romance the orphan son of Birkabegn, King of Denmark, cast adrift by treacherous guardians but found and raised by a British fisherman, and eventually made King of Denmark and part of England). 

Myss, Caroline.  Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential.  New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002, 2003. 366. Print.


DEER/Gentleness, Cooperation
Contributed by Anne Barton.

I am fortunate to live in a place where I can walk out my door and see many of my own personal totem animals, as well as many others that provide me with guidance daily. Whenever I encounter Deer, I know the message she holds. And I can always find a place in my life that needs more gentleness of spirit…

Key Concepts when Deer is Present:

  • Love others as they are.
  • Become warm and caring to solve a present dilemma, and Great Spirit will guide you.
  • Apply unconditional love and find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds.
  • Both light and dark may be loved. 

The story of Fawn, from Medicine Cards, demonstrates the path of gentleness…
“One day Fawn heard Great Spirit calling to her from the top of Sacred Mountain. She immediately started up the trail. A demon was trying to keep all beings of creation from connecting with Great Spirit. He sought power by creating fear in Great Spirit’s creatures. Fawn was not at all frightened when she came upon the demon. She said gently, ‘Please let me pass. I’m on the way to see Great Spirit.’ Fawn’s eyes were filled with love and compassion for this oversized bully of a demon. No matter how he tried, he could not frighten Fawn, and much to his dismay, his rock-hard heart began to melt from Fawn’s persistent love and gentleness.”
Deer medicine teaches us the power of gentleness to touch the hearts of wounded beings who are trying to keep us from Sacred Mountain (our centering place of serenity). Like the dappling of Fawn’s coat, both the light and the dark side may be loved to create safety for those who are seeking peace.
When Deer crosses your path, the message is to find the gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds. Are you pushing too hard to get others to change? Try loving them as they are. Apply gentleness to your present situation; apply warmth and caring. Compassion is the path to solving any dilemma you are facing.
If you are feeling out of sorts and fearful, Deer teaches us that the place to start is in loving yourself. You might be projecting your fears on others. Any decision or action that comes from fear will not bring peaceful results. The only true balance to power is the love and compassion of Deer. Be willing to find things to love about yourself and others. Fear cannot exist in the same space as love and gentleness. In its truest sense, unconditional love means no strings are attached.
Deer also knows the wisdom of co-existence with other creatures quite different from herself. In the Indian forest, she waits on the forest floor for the bits of food dropped by monkeys high in the trees. They share the bounty of the forest and also are alert to danger from their different vantage points, warning each other when necessary. Our message: embrace kindly those whose lifestyles are different from your own. Diversity brings unique, life-sustaining rewards.


Works Cited & Resources
Green, Susie.  Animal Wisdom:  Harness the Power of Animals to Liberate Your Spirit. 
     London: Cico Books Ltd., 2005.  Print.

Sams, Jamie, and David Carson.  Medicine Cards.  New York: St. Martin’s
     Press, 1988, 1999.  Print.   

To learn more about Animal Guide readings, as well as other readings I provide, visit


FOR THE FIRST TIME, U.S. Considers Declaring a Bee Endangered

"The imperiled rusty-patched bumblebee, which pollinates blueberries, apples, and other crops, has disappeared from 87 percent of its historic range." Click here to read more and save the bees!


"Wild Geese by Mary Oliver 

Often quoted, but rarely interviewed, Mary Oliver is one of our greatest and most beloved poets. At 79, she honors us with an intimate conversation on the wisdom of the world, the salvation of poetry, and the life behind her writing. Click here to listen to "Wild Geese."

My Favorites

Take a peek into my favorite fall recipes and videos using apples, the super star of Autumn. 

This month I am featuring one of my favorite favorites, the apple. The baked apple pie in a brown paper bag is delicious. AND I am fortunate to live in a state where the University of Minnesota is a connoisseur of apples, click here to read more.

Bobby Flay and the Apple Pie Farmers
Click here
to watch a youtube video on how to bake an apple pie in a paper bag. 

 A Cup Of Apple Soup A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
 Check out this recipe to make a featured chilled apple soup.
Num Num Recipe
Saving the best for last, here is a link to the recipe for apple pie baked in a bag. 

Top Blog Posts

My featured blogs with the most views. Have you missed them? Click to read each one!

3 Ways to Activate Your Heart Through Self-Love

Green Goddess: My Best Kept Beauty Secret

Spring Has Sprung!

Calling on the Angels!

Love Makes Us Warm All Over

Your Courageous Tapestry

The Art of Letting Go Gracefully


Invoking Grace Through Prayer

The Ancient Native American Ritual Called Smudging
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