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Remembering a Courageous Soul & Messages of Faith on the Eternal Journey

gaia and me

Tiny Gaia when she first entered my life

The moment you want to give up is when you need to dig as deep as you can to keep believing even more, as you’re so close to breaking through the veils and into the light of your heart.

It’s one of those time cycles where I feel a stronger pull to my cosmic origins, and needing to remind myself of balancing and grounding in order to fully be present in this current Earthly experience. And while feeling these pulls elsewhere, it’s no wonder I’ve also been sharing reverence for my beloved Russian Tortoise, Gaia, whom has been away on mission since the end of April.

She, along with my beautiful, physically departed Nestor, have been heavily on my mind. And I know that they are both cosmic pilgrims engaged in their soul essence journeys of the heart.

gaia outsideI know many of you have followed along with their stories, in particular Gaia’s of recent, and may remember she had for the first time hibernated for a short period this winter, returning auspiciously before the end of Winter, but right at the perfectly timed moment in my life. And then, not long after she had returned, she then disappeared again and has been gone since the end of April, now approaching 5 months and oddly during the dead of a very hot Summer here.


Gaia checking out my painting Air, as I worked on it in my solarium

I haven’t recently had the sense she is returning, but if she in fact at some point still does, it will be her most surprising and magickal feat to date, which would bring a huge smile to my usually unsurprised self. In the meantime, I have been supporting her energetically in the work she had been called away to do, knowing she is always with me in heart.

But it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve felt the need to honor her more appropriately, especially if she has chosen to move beyond this Earthly realm like Nestor. That’s what it feels like in my heart, and perhaps her original idea of returning has shifted due to my own shifts.

Having gone through what will always be the most heart-wrenching experience of physically losing Nestor in the most dramatic/traumatic of ways at a very challenging soul leap time in my life that nearly took my own breath away, I have gone through the worst and so am able and prepared to handle physical loss, or anything for that matter, with an unconditionally, unattached love and deep honor. Perhaps Gaia chose this way, as mirror to the place I have arrived with this – with no need for closure to the eternal, nor need to physically see and experience that transition from life to afterlife. I am aware that transitions from one dimensional experience to another can be gently chosen, just as much as harshly chosen, depending on what we need to learn and what our attached beliefs are.

gaia in amethyst

Gaia exploring inside my Amethyst – found her sleeping here several times

I’ve also found it interesting, since both Gaia and Nestor were always not really “all here” when they were, that as such expansively powerful, cosmic beings that they chose these tiny bodies to manifest as. And yet their power was evident, not only in the strength those little bodies physically exhibited, but in their presence and the magickal things they would do each day while with me.

I know part of the reason they came in those bodies, was so that we could be together as we were, and yet as much joy as they brought me in this life, it gives me greater joy to know that they are no longer confined by those bodies in any way and can be the freedom seekers of the Cosmos that they are. Afterall, they spent very little of their time in those bodies, even when they WERE with me, as they were constantly traveling and doing work inter-dimensionally. They remind me of myself and it’s no wonder we have been together across times.


Gaia and Chuck

Gaia was such a mentor for Joy and the two of them were best friends. Gaia also had the opportunity to connect with Chuck, while he was still alive, and was an avid companion of the ethereal Nestor (also a friend of Chuck’s).

crystalsI found it interesting that on my desk, where I have some of my crystals that support me daily, that the stone statues of Hematite (Nestor) and Rhodonite (Gaia) that I have carried with me on many of my global sacred journeys to have their energy symbolically and physically present where I was doing spiritual work, have always been next to each other on my desk. And the larger Serpentine stone statue of Joy, who is a bit more Earth-bound than they are, (although truly is the embodiment of a bridge between worlds, is a channeler and Crystal worker), is separate, yet connected by the large Cosmic Crystal between them.

And, both Nestor and Gaia are now physically gone, leaving Joy and I together here on this Earth plane.

jj and gaia

Best buddies, Joy and Gaia

Joy is my ever-faithful companion who alerts me to all energetic nuances and presides over our shared domain, as a guardian of the sacred. But over time, even Joy’s presence has shifted, as she used to physically take part in any workshops I taught from home, and now her presence although felt, is no longer there – choosing to remain in my office to support from afar.

Little by little with their support and teaching experiences through them, and as I have shifted into my own empowerment, accessing the connections and communications beyond space and time in a more tangible way, and have released attachments, they have all been able to move into different roles in my life and into their trueness.

The more these transcendent shifts anchor, the more I receive inklings of where my own soul direction is leading and the timeliness of that.

gaia house

Gaia inside her house

It’s all a beautiful journey and I’ve been reflecting on all of this, as thoughts and memories of Gaia have been flooding me recently. It’s brought some bitter sweet tears and yet joyous ones in celebration of her eternal expansiveness.

And I felt it time to make a memorial of sorts in her honor, regardless if she did in fact one day, out of the amazing blue, return. I want her to know how much I am eternally grateful for all that she is, and all that she has been and will continue to be in my life. Like all of these precious and astounding souls, she has taught me so much and she has saved my life more than once.

gaia house

Gaia’s sanctuary under the Plumeria

I have decided to keep her home outside where it has been, as a memorial for her, and also to mark the area I believe she entered Earth’s core through. As it is there I discovered her last time when she returned. If she does in fact miraculously return, then she will have her home to welcome her. Although I hope if she does, that I will still be here to welcome her. This is part of why I am not feeling her returning. I trust, as always, that she’s tuned into my messages, even though they have a bit of a time lapse where she is. We’ve never not been in sync, so there’s that. 🙂


Plumeria above Gaia’s house

Interestingly, not too long ago, this area where her house sits that has two Plumeria and one large succulent bush, had completely shifted. The large succulent bush had uprooted itself one night and as it did, had taken down the two Plumeria. I had always reflected on this as a sign of the work she was doing below ground, as well as a mirror of impending change that was to take place and the uprooting in my own life.

Since, the bushes have been replanted and supported, with hopes they would survive, and have. So much so, that the Plumeria are now in full bloom – I just was checking them out this morning when I took these photographs – and I love that they surround Gaia’s house with their fragant beauty.plumeria

The perfect reflection of the joy and grace she brought to my life, this time around, when I was most in need.


Plumeria symbolism includes natural beauty, charm, grace, new life, new beginnings, creation and recreation, the Sun, perfection of all things as is, dedication, devotion, love, immortality, healing powers, liveliness, life, and birth.

plumeria5I believe these are perfect messages for where ever the new journey ahead may lead. And however that is to take form, I can only trust in the faith and belief that I will have the same kind of courage these amazing souls have graced my life with.

star jasmine

Three courageous Star Jasmine

I also found three Star Jasmine this morning that had blossomed “out of season”. Jasmine flowers symbolize many things to many different cultures, including love, romance, sensuality, amiability, nobility, grace, and elegance, but more importantly, they hold strong spiritual significance, as a constant symbol of divinity and hope.

These three Jasmine felt like magickal reminders of these three dear and immeasurable souls in my life, as well as embody, to me, the powerful will of the courageous soul that doesn’t accept the boundaries others choose to believe in and is capable of blossoming in the darkness.

Sacred Tattoo Designs with Dual Symbolism Superimposed – Whale/Butterfly & Scarab/Earth Mother Goddess

I had the opportunity again to work with one of my cherished clients and friends, Mari. You may remember her from my post “An Inside Look At One Soul’s Sacred Tattoo Experience – Mari’s Journey with ‘Spiritual Skin‘”. It’s been so incredible working with her as she creates her own soul’s journey through sacred body art that speaks to her unique soul essence. We’ve created several pieces together and I was excited to work with her again to create a couple more, which are today’s highlights.

As always, I marvel at the divine timing and what aligns with the process when creating these sacred pieces. It’s always so beautiful when direct messages, confirmations and support come through, as with the recent Incan tattoo designs I created, when Moth showed up to chime in with her wisdom in agreement. The designs also seem to be aligned with Reiki workshops I teach, which then also adds to the potency of the energy imbued within the designs, as well as align with astrological influences like the Moon phases, Cardinal Cross, and other intensified energies.

reiki (3)I’ve been following my client wait list in order, but arrived at working on Mari’s in beautiful synchronicity. Her designs were also graced with these types of energetic influences, as I had begun the first of the two the day before teaching a Reiki 3 Master Teacher Workshop for which I was preparing. I thought that very appropriate and empowering for the essence of this “ring” we were co-creating. More on it below.


Silvery gray of whale shining in the sun at center/top, as she surfaces and spouts

And right as I had begun the second piece for her foot, I was called to take an ocean-side break and was immediately upon sitting down to relax on the beach and read, met by a mother Grey Whale and her baby swimming by, which was so supportive and inspiring, not to mention confirming for the piece that included Whale wisdom in it.


Here you can see a whale watching boat, as well as leisure boat have spotted the whale and her baby, as they move. Whale is in front of the left boat where you see the mist of her spout and darker body surfacing

Not long after, a large pod of Dolphins also came through and I just felt in the flow once again and also knew that the feelings and visions I was receiving from them were to be captured in the piece. More on that below as well.

So it was another interesting and beautiful journey, to say the least, in co-creating these pieces and I’m grateful for the energies the Universe aligns me with, in guiding support during the process.

Since I just shared the Whale images (although not all that great of photos), I thought I’d first share on the foot design that incorporates Whale energy.

When I saw Whale on Saturday it reminded me of that powerful day, just a few weeks back that I blogged about, when the whales were bursting through the waters and jumping and splashing and just in total joy and bliss.

I felt that a Whale (which Mari was wanting incorporated into the design) that is not just one swimming through the seas of experience, but one that is penetrating the very veils of illusions with pure joy of authenticity from heart, was to be. The Whale depicted in this piece is thrusting in joy through the ocean’s surface, but also penetrating the veils between Earth and Cosmos, between self and other, consciousness and unconsciousness – bringing a knowingness and beingness of both at once.

Whales are cosmic beings that use their abilities to communicate through sound and message us about our true origins and authenticity. For more on Whale symbolism please visit: Whale Song

Sacred Tattoo Design - Foot Healing MandalaBut if you look very closely, you will see that Whale is also a Butterfly. For more on Butterfly symbolism you can visit: Butterfly Messengers.

See how Whale’s tail fins are the body of the Butterfly and body is the larger part of her wing, and fin makes up part of her lower wing. I created a spherical shape, but organic in nature with use of flowing water, spirals, energy, leaves and Plumeria (as my client had seen this as a healing Mandala and I also saw it as a portal or gateway).

There are two planets to the right, or could be a Full Moon and Sun. I also felt called to include a simple version of the Hunab Ku to demonstrate the Galactic nature of this piece in harmony with Earth – a return to natural harmony within and without. Hunab Ku is also known as the Galactic Butterfly, which is what is created here both as this more organic Butterfly with Whale as part of her shared essence of her wing AND as the Hunab Ku cosmic essence Butterfly.

Air and Water elements being highlighted a bit more, along with Spirit yet with an Earth connecting factor. Mari already has a lot of Fire and Earth and with a serpent on her right leg, this felt very balancing on her left foot where it will go.

I immediately had mentioned to Mari that I was sensing this sort of Polynesian, Mayan, Cosmic quality to the design and that is what I feel manifested. I was also receiving Plumeria as inspiration and when I looked into more of what it symbolized, I realized why.

Plumeria symbolism includes natural beauty, charm, grace, new life, new beginnings, creation and recreation, the Sun, perfection of all things as is, dedication, devotion, love, immortality, healing powers, liveliness, life and birth. They span many cultures in their symbolic meaning and reverence including being very important to both Hawaiian and Mayan cultures 🙂 , but also Hindu, South Indian, Buddhist, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc…

So there is so much celebration of life from the heart of hearts here. And I see it as a gateway she will walk forward into with each step, bringing in a new, vibrant, joyous energy that is birthing with all the shifts and upcoming newness in her life. It is a beautiful new layer of the onion, so to speak, revealing more of her deep personal frequency that is of and beyond this world, which many may not have seen of her yet. Very powerful, but in a gentle and beautiful way of grace and flow. It is centered, but organic in nature and can bring the experience of always feeling centered no matter how things are flowing outside – movement with cycles rather than with a rigid plan. There’s also a sense of abundance and true joy as she activates her Galactic “Nature” even more.

Sacred Tattoo Design - RingThen we move on to the second which is created to be worn as a ring – a wedding band so to speak that celebrates the sacred union with self. Being a ring, it is done in very simple and clear lines (open design line work) – like the henna work I have on my own hand and fingers. Fingers and hands are tricky in being able to ink and how they will wear over time. So it is best to keep them simple and defined.

This design, like the Whale/Butterfly is dual in nature as well, which was tricky. I had immediately for this piece been feeling Egyptian and Earth Priestess/Divine Feminine energy, and that is what is represented.

It took me a while to get the right design that would work dualistically, but also be very simple, yet potent. But it happened and what came through was the energy of the Scarab and the Earth Mother Goddess (Gaia).

For more on Scarab symbolism please see: Sacred Scarab

Within the design at top is a simple Lotus that has a bit of an Egyptian flair to it. I created 3 dots around it, sort of providing a subtle Henna quality, but can also represent the Trinity, Triple Goddess energy, the Maiden, Mother, Crone, etc.

Now if we skip below that and you look at center of the band, there is a simple heart-like design (felt very important to have all things come and stem from the/her heart). This heart acts dually as the body of the Scarab and the body of the more primitive Earth Mother Goddess design. To the left and right are the wings of the Scarab that create the band and will come to a point at back under the finger. I kept them simple but they are spread open to produce freedom energy. They also balance the Scarab/Goddess.

Below, coming just slightly down over knuckle into hand, is a design that could be both a leaf (to draw energy in and be the grounding Earthiness, as well as root of the Lotus), but can also be another set of wings (as the mirror to each other) that have come to rest together creating hands in prayer position, much like that centering at heart we do in meditation, and in receiving and giving blessing and honoring to self and others (Namaste).

Above the heart design is the stylized head of the Scarab, as well as the Goddess. Coming out on both sides are the Scarab’s legs, but also the Goddess’s arms stretched above holding the Sun Disk (Source within her and representative of the Great Central Sun). This reflecting connection to it, honoring of it, and always walking in the reflection and grace of the truth within that Source.

It’s a small piece, but amazing what can be achieved with just the right tweaks. The ring band will sit where a band would usually, with the lower leaf/wings coming down into hand a bit (balancing a design she already has moving up the hand on the right), and reaching past the first finger knuckle to create an elongated design down part of the length of her finger, coming to rest in between the two top knuckles.

Really grateful to support Mari with her beautiful journey. And it looks like we will be partnering again down the road soon. So stay tuned for more with Mari and me. 🙂 I love that I finished writing this at 11:11 am here.

If you would like to partner in co-creating your own sacred visionary piece of artwork or tattoo design to embody the empowerment you desire, you can contact me at

There is currently a waiting list, which I am moving through as quickly as I can.  I can only provide a guesstimate on timing. You can easily make your deposit at the link provided below to embark on this journey in partnership with me.

For more information about the process and pricing please visit: What is a Tattoo Design Consultation

To enjoy a visual journey of some of the sacred tattoo designs I’ve had the honor and privilege of co-creating, please visit: Spiritual Skin for my YouTube video.

Some people have preferred to read my book, Spiritual Skin ~ Sacred Tattoos: More than Skin Deep, especially if they are new to sacred tattoo designs, before embarking on this journey.

If you are drawn to learn more about sacred tattoos you can order a copy of the book here: Spiritual Skin

It is also available in Kindle format here: Spiritual Skin

You can also order your personal copy here: Signed and Inscribed Copy of Spiritual Skin 

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