Share a special moment from Harley's life.

From Marcella

Shared by Centre for Shamanic Arts on October 18, 2013
Dear swiftdeer i have wrote this poem for you, When i was a child i dreamt of being a police women and solving crimes. When i was a child i fought the unknown to be shown and never understood :) When i was a child i thought love was grand because my parents loved me :) When i was a child school is now just a memory :) When i was a teenager i grew with the knife, crime and hatred When i was a teenager smoking and drinking made me estatic When i was a teenager i fell in love many times When i was a teenager i grew apart from my family When i was an adult i grew to appreciate my parents When i was an adult i knew how to fend for myself When i was an adult i met harley and the deertribe When i was an adult i fell in love again The only thing is i fell in love this time with god, with the light and now you are a living memory in my heart for ever, along with many other teachers that i have met, you have brought into my life great teachings that the inner child doesnt understand but the adult does, you brought into my life along with other great people an extension of my family, a futre, a hope and a dream to come true, you brought into my life love the love of the people of the land of the tribes which im strongly connected to , you brought my dream of visiting the homelands of America true, my sundance will live as a memory for ever and i thank you for that, i will continue to dance and remember who it was and what it was that finally got me to the place that i have always called home AMERICA i feel strongly now as i did then, swift that i thank you for. God rest your soul and your spirit be, always my friend , my teacher and see you as my Grandfather the man who would teach me to stand up for myself in life thank you SPRINGFLOWERWOMAN


Shared by Martin vanZyl on October 8, 2013


S is for his Shamanism of Water, Earth, Air and Fire

W is for the Warrior who inspired the desire

I is for his Intellect harnessing the So Below and the As Above

F is for his Fluidity of Movement and of love

T is for his Transforming of wants and needs

D is for the Determination of the Womb for the Seed

E is to exhibit his Shining and from within his Fire

E is for his Ecstasy in living his Heart’s Desire

R is to Retrace his Walk in Beauty on this Sacred Ground

As he continues his walk into the Great Round


                                                            --Martin “Wheelwalker”

we had fun!

Shared by Karen Krauss on October 8, 2013

going to the airport for Switzerland trip...  Di - Swift - Batty and Karen.
A wonderful adventure... 

teen lodge

Shared by Karen Krauss on October 8, 2013

what a year....  included in this photo are Swift, Di, Batty, Karen, Jamie, Tim Dingman, Silver Ra, Caleb, Ethan, Prem, Adam, Lauren, Aiyesha, Daniel, Clint, Maria and more....   1st year of teen lodge at the US SD.

Oh, it’s you again

Shared by Cathy Kelly on October 5, 2013

I had the pleasure of physically meeting Harley on Nov.16, 1984. Bill and Judy Wahlberg had brought him and Mary Shy Deer to Michigan for their 2nd workshop.  I was 25, married and searching for a purpose in my life.   I sat in the back and watched Harley closely, trying to figure out if this unusual guy had anything worth learning.  When he told the audience not to believe anything he said I wondered how much bullsh*t I would have to shovel in order to find the nuggets of truth hidden within.  Then in the next breath, with a huge smile, he would say that a skillful gardener knows how to use bullsh*t to grow beautiful flowers!  His laughter was infectious and he never took himself seriously.  He was an impressive story teller and I found his sense of humor very appealing. The only direct contact we had was during a naming ceremony at the end of the workshop. One by one each of the un-named participants would sit in front of him. Finally it was my turn.  Extraordinary feelings washed over me as I approached him for the first time.  Each step brought a new feeling or thought, stronger than the last. The closer I got to him the more I felt like I knew him… we had know each other really well a long, long time ago.  Like we had worked and fought together, with the light, eons ago.  Then I heard my voice inside of me say “Oh, it’s you again.”  And he replied “I told you we’d see each other again, why don’t you ever believe me?”

Now I was getting confused.  I was here in Michigan but I was somewhere else also. Space and time was getting jumbled up.  As I sat down on the floor in front of him he pensively gazed into my eyes as he placed his hands on my shoulders.  His head shivered just a tad before he snapped his eyes shut.  He mumbled something with closed eyes as I just sat there quietly, watching and waiting for him to announce my name. My goodness, I thought, I hope he’s not going to have an epileptic fit.  I found myself getting a little dizzy until I remembered to breathe.

Suddenly he squeezed my shoulders and his eyes flew open as he eagerly called out “Ring of Fire, I know your name and it is Ring of Fire.”   I shook his hand and solemnly thanked him.  I stood up and quickly turned around.  I had to slowly walk back to my cushion on the floor in the back of the room because I couldn’t see a thing with all the tears flowing from my eyes.  I didn’t want Harley to see me crying.  I couldn’t let him know how much he had touched my heart.  I wanted to be a warrior.  I was strong.  In reality my heart was bursting and my head didn’t know why.   I heard that small voice in my head say “Home……..I finally found home…..I’m finally going home.”   I just sat on the floor with my head hanging down and softly wept for a few more moments.  Afterward I felt relieved, refreshed actually.  As I dried my tears and looked up I felt a huge smile spread across my face.  If I was a balloon I would have happily floated away.  I felt a sense of warmth and peace bubbling up from inside and slowly spreading through my body, exiting from my fingers and toes and the top of my head.  I liked this new feeling and I wanted more of it.  The three day workshop ended shortly after that and I had a lot to think about on the long drive back to the city.  The number one thing on the list was: Am I going crazy? Isn’t that what happens to people who hear voices in their heads?  The second item on the list was: What the heck did “Ring of Fire” mean?

It was during Harley’s 3rd workshop in Michigan, with Batty & Ina, that I approached him about becoming a student.  If you wanted to study under Harley he had interesting ways of deciding if he would accept you as a student.  I naively suggested we start off by me calling him long distance on a weekly or monthly basis for teachings over the phone. After all, we lived thousands of miles apart.  “Set your hourly price and I’ll mail you payments in advance.” I said “Then you can call me when it’s convenient for you and I’ll call you right back.”

“No way” he said, “I hate talking on the phone. But if you can let go of your past to live in the present I have a warrior task assignment for you.   Move to La Canada, California and live with me, Di and Batty. Help us dance awake my dream for the teachings that I carry.  And by the way……”

and he tilted his head ever so slightly…. our eyes still locked….. our breathing slow and deep….. looking into each other’s bottomless souls…. bathing in the bright white light emanating from each other’s cores…..and stepping into each other’s light as they merged into one….and we were suddenly standing inside a “Ring of Fire.”

And in that instant I could have sworn that we were two young river otters, playing and chattering up a storm as we swam down the warm river.  Taking turns diving for fish then sharing them as we floated on our backs, letting the river gently carry us home.   We lived a lifetime together on that river, happy and productive.

Whoa… mind instantly slammed into overdrive and I was spinning.  I was married, we had our own home, my husband and I both had good jobs that we enjoyed, I had lived in Michigan my entire life.  And then Harley just casually asked me to walk along a huge abyss, all the while grinning like a little boy who just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar!  How dare he,,,,, how could he…. California……nice warm weather…..the Pacific Ocean……year round sunshine….. teachings…….knowledge.

“I’ll think about it” I said.

By July 2, 1985 I had filed for a divorce and was living with Harley, Dianne and Batty in La Canada, California.  It didn’t take me long to realize that I had signed up for an ‘E’ ticket ride and I hadn’t even been to Disneyland yet!

Shared by Kathy Milazzo on October 5, 2013

Swift Deer            Thunder Strikes

By Kathy Milazzo

The first time I met Swift Deer was at his house in his office.  I went to get my first Book of Life reading.  My preconceived notions of a Medicine Man’s home were abruptly dissipated with the overwhelming display of medicine and other items that seem to cover virtually every inch of space.  Swift Deer sat comfortably in his chair behind his desk fully dressed in a bathrobe opened to reveal an otter medallion hanging as a pendant around his neck. Every finger had a ring and a bracelet adorned each wrist. While I attempted to steady myself in his space, he got right down to business.

Two things that I have kept with me from that first reading are: One, that he validated I was in Dharma. His manner of telling me this was as if I had just won a great award, something like a Pulitzer Prize, or an Oscar.  He announced it formally with gravity. Naturally I was pleased even though at that time I had only an inkling of what that really meant.  The second thing that I took from that meeting with Swift Deer was a great sense of happiness at being alive, being human, being me. The cards and the places they landed gave me hope and a way to go forward as I aligned myself through contracts with my Sacred Dream.

My next significant meeting with Swift Deer was at my own Dearmoring ceremony. I remember the first day when I had to stand in front of my group to be examined by Swift Deer and the other facilitators so they could determine my structure and posture.  I was embarrassed and humiliated and glared at Swift Deer as he assessed my physical form.  He looked at my face and just laughed to himself and this made me laugh too. My discomfort vanished and a war was won with laughter.

Later, I went to many Longhouse Weekends when Swift Deer would give a teaching the first night.  These teachings were always amazing not only because of the unusual content, but the depth, the historical background and the lineage standing behind them added a validation that I could not deny.  These teachings have been given out to us, the apprenticeship, and others teach this knowledge again and again, however, when Swift Deer taught he was able to elevate his audience’s level of awareness so that when he taught, I understood and was thrilled with the potential that was being shown to me.  Sometimes after the teaching was over, I would stumble along as I tried to restate what I had just so clearly understood.

My sons and my partner sought council from Swift Deer on different occasions. It always helped and one son gives him credit for turning around his life by teaching him how to do fiber work and helping him to understand that he (my son) is able to see luminosity.

Swift Deer and I had our political disagreements.  I didn’t like his politics and he didn’t like mine.  Once I asked him if the old adage “Once a Marine, always a Marine” played a significant part in his political views and how he lived his life and he answered: “Yes, but the Nagual trumps the Marine.” This was important for me. In turn, when I asked how to develop sweetness as a projecting mood, he told me to do things for others, to be kind and so on and then he slipped in a statement about how hard it was going to be for me to project a mood of ruthlessness as long as I hung onto my political views.  We both laughed at that.

Once I thanked Swift Deer for the teachings and he grumpily replied: “Don’t thank me, the teachings aren’t mine, they come from the Elders.” Well then, I said, thank you for disseminating the teachings. And to that I got a harrumph.

Swift Deer was an amazing person and I feel myself to be very fortunate in having met him, learned from him, benefitted from his great abilities and providing a spiritual path that I can walk upon with my heart open.  He taught me many things and continues to have a profound impact on my life and those around me.  I am grateful for all that he gave to me, to us and to The Sweet Medicine Sundance Path. 

He will always have a place in my heart as a great man.  He is an inspiration because he lived life as a man, a human being who achieved greatness through work and determination.  In this way he is an example to me and the greatest message is that such greatness is my potential and the potential of every human, who is willing to do the work, assume authority, take responsibility and stand accountable. Swift Deer’s gift to me was enlightened potential. With much love, Kathy



Full flame on the soul

Shared by Katarina Ödman on October 5, 2013

I met you Swift Deer at APA 2010. Im forever thankful that I got to to work with you during these weeks, sit with you, learn the Magic that you hold and shared so generously. I felt at home and you felt like a real father. I painted this picture for an excibition i Sweden, inspired from your maps of the souls evolution and it touched me so much.
You told us that if you would die then, you would have the orende to come back with full memory, the real "virgin birth". I hope your maps work out fully for you, "your great work", and I will use these maps to navigate in my life.
In my painting I placed the magical "little prince" fom the book of Antoine de Saint-Exipery ( the most important is invisible)
In the painting, the text says - He fell like a tree falls
The text on the side says - You must understand that its to far away and I can not take the body with me, its to heavy.
Happy tracks SwiftDeer on jour journey
Flowering Wind

Amazin Grace in Cherokee

Shared by Misha Rogg on October 5, 2013



The story about 'the old guys'

Shared by Misha Rogg on October 4, 2013

The Story about the 'old Guys ...'


I met Swiftdeer in Temple City, CA in the autumn of 1989. After having had a few years introduction with Arwyn Dreamwalker to Grandfather Two Bears and 'his nagual lineage..' in Great Britain at the time. My son Boris Christopher Lightning Star was welcomed and babtized in Stonehenge 1987 along with such events, and in September 1989 also the first Rainbow Dream Dance ( a three day Sundance) was organized by me outside Glastonbury at the time.


I always had been an authentic seeker on my Path with a Heart  - that got me to Swiftdeer  and the Deertribe in October 89. Being a country person and old Indian at Heart,- I was quite disappointed about their setting in Temple City, L.A. and their american city urban school like attitudes. Nevertheless, I bought a 24 year old camper and toured the Southwest for the following months as a single Mum with my kids aged 8 and 3 at the time. I went to see the Navajo Reservation, Grandfathers Land and left many gifts and offerings there .. .


Eventually, I apprenticed to Swiftdeer and even was part of the 18th Feathered Winged Serpent Wheel in those days. My journey was a hard one, nevertheless always connecting with the Source.
What I liked best about Swiftdeer's Teaching Stories were the ones involving the Nagual Julian and our ancient toltec connections to a Path with a Heart. I also was apprenticed to Lightning Bolt, Hyemeyosths Storm and fell deeply in love with Dona Soledad Ruiz, a nahuatl Grandmother of the Don Juan Lineage. She used to know Carlos Castaneda and her teacher Maria Magdalena had also been the female teacher of Don Juan. Soledad was a Healer and Sundance Captain of the Conchera Dance Group. Also a professor at Mexico University UNAM for Drama. She was one of the Healers who attended to the Nagual Julian, also.


I learned so much of this powerful and modest Maestra ! I met her in Munich in spring 1999, straight after Swiftdeers event in Bavaria. I met her then and did a 4x3 weeks Healer Training with her in the following years. I was with her privately in Mexico City in 2005 and 2008 while she was retired from outside teaching due to her illness already.
She passed on February 18th 2011 and her ashes were brought to Ixtaciua - Land of Medicine.


Through the work and guidance throught these two teachers,- Swiftdeer and Soledad, I was introduced to the dreamer and stalker ways of our lineage. I became friends with Grandfather Two Bears, with the Nagual Julian and later on with Don Juan and Grace Walking Stick - many Grandfathers and Grandmothers helped along the way and took their terms in guiding me .. . Thank You.


It is this ancient lineage of the Dreamers and the Stalkers that we carry on with our Path with Heart and we also follow a phrophecy of the Blue Star Catcher Katchina and the lost white brother. It has been a great round and now we started a new one. Thank You, Thunder Strikes, for showing the way ...  

Can you hear the cry of the eagle ?

Since always and for always

Moving Sun Mirror Cloud

The story behind the Logo...

Shared by Quinn Yarbrough on October 3, 2013


In 1984 my parents sponsored Cherokee Wisdom Keeper “Dhyani Ywahoo” to come and speak at the Unity Church in Dallas where I grew up. For as long as I could remember I'd always been drawn to American Indian culture but Dhyani was my first exposure to a living American Indian.  After honoring the Ancestors, the powers of creation and the four directions she began to speak of "contemporary mans insanity" and the collective need to come back into harmony with "Grandmother earth and her children" and a honoring of Sacred Teachings. As a part of this talk Dhyani spoke of the origins of the Ani Yunwiwa (Cherokee) as having come from “The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades”. She also spoke about “Dreaming with Crystals as they were transistors of sacred knowledge”. Since Dhyani was staying at my house for that week I got to spend some impactfull one on one with her.

Soon after this I felt the need to go on a Quest, an extended road trip  "to find myself". It was my first exploration of the world on my own. After 3 months of traveling around the Southwest I landed in Santa Fe for another 6 months where I was staying with a lady friend who had been a student of Dhyani’s. As was my morning ritual back then I would practice my Kung Fu out in the front yard. One morning the neighbor (a man named Frank Aon) and I met and bonded over our mutual love of Kung Fu.  Frank had grown up in Santa Fe and had a lot of exposure to Native American culture, we became fast friends of mutual interest. Oddly both Frank and I soon ended up moving from Santa Fe back to Dallas at around the same time. Frank was moving to Dallas to be with his new love interest who (just by chance) happened to be a good friend of my mothers.
The universe was at play here.

When I got back to Dallas I went to work for a Kung Fu buddy of mine who had a successful graphic art firm and was teaching me the basics of production art. Frank was a carver/goldsmith and was doing some carving work with crystals.

So one day Frank comes over all excited and plays me a lecture audio tape he'd come across of some guy called Swiftdeer talking about American Indian traditions and “dreaming into crystals”. Both Frank and I were quite intrigued by the concepts being presented and by “the voice” presenting them. As this was now the second time I had heard about dreaming into crystals I told Frank; “we need to find this guy”. Now this was back in 85' during the whole "New Age Crystal Craze" and just by coincidence Frank was doing some crystal carving work for an interior designer named Steven Stefano in Dallas. Steven was very into crystals and was incorporating large geos into his interior design work. It was Steven who then got the ball rolling and sponsored Swiftdeer to come to Dallas to do those first workshops where Frank and I got to meet "the voice" and "the man" on the audio tape.

Since Swift and I had been dreaming each other into each others lives up to this point, when we finally did meet it was one of those "instantly connected (hello again where have you been) kind of moments" and so Swift being Swift invited me to come live with him at his home in San Gabriel (however Swift being Swift; I don't think he really cleared this invitation with Dianne).

Naturally I took Swift up on his offer and left Dallas to begin my apprenticeship and moved in with Swift, Di, Batty and Cathy Kelly at their new abode in San Gabriel. As Swift and Dianne had recently moved into that house Swift asked me to help him with a number of diffrent things including building out the garage into a teaching-healing space, constructing a sweat lodge and fire pit in the back yard and... to design a logo for the Deer Tribe.

Swift wanted the logo to simultaneously represent a number of different elements  including “the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades”, the four cardinal powers, Grandfather Sun and of course the Medicine and totem of the Deer.
I'm honored to see the logo still remains in use today, and  I get a kick out of the evolution of all this when recognizing how for me it all started with Dhyani, and thus the teaching “All Things Born Of Woman”.

Sundance 1986 Gold Creek Ranch

Shared by Quinn Yarbrough on October 3, 2013

Shortly after I met Swift he led me in a Ceremonial process of intention to incarnte into form my internal demon that I may look it in the eye. It was truly an awakening awakened moment in this dream. Afterward I presented Swift with a blanket and tobacco and we'll you all know what that means. So, so many teachings and experiances are now a part of me forever, as is Harley Swiftdeer. Much love.

Navajo Morning Blessing

Shared by Misha Rogg on October 3, 2013

In Remembrance of Grandfather Two Bears who walks the Sacred Mountain, in Honour for the Bitter Water Clan of the Navajo Dineh Nation and for the Grandmothers and Grandfathers of our lineage ! Since always and for always ... LOVE to you !
In Remembrance to Swiftdeer - Thunder Strikes,- and where it all begun.‎ 

... Yateh, thank you for letting me show your video ..! 

The Eyes of the Nagual

Shared by Diana Kardia on September 26, 2013

Learning from Swift was a wild ride - and not one with seatbelts. It was more like riding a bull, counting the seconds until I was thrown, and then quickly integrating so I could get back on again.  But the horns on this bull skewered pretense.

The trick to the ride was to look him in the eye, to center on his gaze until I could see myself looking back and there find the center of the storm.  His heyokah twinkle told me that the truth is found on the inside out and I learned to trust the somersault as he caused my old versions of reality to buck and sway.

As he taught, SwiftDeer gave with a generosity that is truly male, scattering millions of seeds knowing that only a small portion would find purchase.  And yet, he was clear: "You are responsible for every wheel that is ever downloaded to you."

I check my bags, surveying the accumulated jumble.  Responsible? Me? What could that possibly mean?  To order and sort, and keep it chronicled? To reach into the fray, pull out what is needed in the moment and put it to use? To scatter the seeds myself, and see what grows?  The clear answer is yes - all that and more.  It is a profound responsibility - one I risk taking far too seriously.

But there he is, in the photos left behind and, more importantly, indelibly etched in my being.  The twinkle in his eyes shines as brightly as ever and I can hear his voice still resonating in my bones: "Have fun with this!  Add your artistic originality! Don't believe anything I say. Test it out and put it to use - if it grows corn, make it yours!"

Yet, his twinkle was no glancing defraction of light.  SwiftDeer's consistency was his hallmark, his words and teachings and manner remaining true across decades, no matter the challenges he met.  His dedication is witnessed by time, his message always true to what needed to be said, not what someone wanted to hear.  The test of time, and the test we bring to these teachings by learning and honoring and living them, hones this consistency and ensures that we do carry a lineage path even as it evolves through us.

The final image I have of this man is not captured by a photo, and does not come from an event that happened, although it is more true than many of the things we call reality.  I see him as a firefighter emerging from a burning building, sweat and smoke and soot obscuring his features, as does the heavy equipment and uniform, fatigue pulling on his frame.  The fire is not yet out, and the future remains uncertain.  But in his arms are the children that were trapped inside.  I want to wrap my arms around him, check his pulse, cleanse his face. I want to run into the building to save more, and take my turn at the hoses. But the eyes of the Nagual look into mine as he places the children in my arms, and my way is clear.

Through the eyes of the Nagual I have seen what needs to be seen, and now it is time to do what needs to be done.  And to do it right - with all the happiness, humor, health, hope, and harmony I can create. With wild rides and somersaults, piercing what matters, meeting failure where it happens, and climbing on for more.

The eyes of the Nagual shine through me, that the light continues on. May it be done in beauty. Aho.

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