Custom creative work and commissions

Merle’s schedule is open to visual art commissions, occasional poem commissions, writer/artist collaborations, and consultations starting Fall 2023 and after. Visual art commissions incorporate shamanic methods to ritually source the “story” of the image; pricing is determined by size and detail. Some of their work has included tattoo designs, poem ekphrasis, blessings for a new birth, etc.  Merle will set up a free 20 minute consultation for all custom work, including occasional poems, which they have written for weddings, retirement, and custom gifts. A 50% deposit is due at the beginning of the project, and the remaining 50% is due upon completion.

Shamanic healing

Merle also offers shamanic healing services, which are available by appointment and held virtually. On-person meetings will be scheduled when there is a need to do so but most work can be accomplished remotely; this is also a way for Merle to mitigate COVID-risk as an immunocompromised person. They have been studying under their shamanic teacher Myron Eshowsky (based in Madison, WI) since 2013. Eshowsky’s teachers include Shona elder and healer Mandaza Kademwa, late Dagara water healers Sobonfu Somé and Malidoma Somé, among others, and he was initiated in Siberia and Zimbabwe. His teachings also include methods that draw from Siberian and certain Native traditions (he works with the Ho-Chunk, for example.) Merle’s lineage is likewise eclectic because of Eshowsky’s teachings and also barriers in accessing their own indigenous spiritual roots (such as the Korean side.) Ultimately, Spirit presented the teacher who was supposed to work with Merle, and the person who laid most of that foundation is Myron Eshowsky.

Merle weaves their creative and spiritual work together in a way that is their own, and especially enjoys working with fellow writers and artists who are trying to tap in more deeply to the world around them. The role Merle plays in a shamanic context is akin to being a soul mechanic–certain things that don’t belong need to be pulled out and certain things that have gone missing need to be put back in; any shift created is the result of Spirit, and Merle is simply like a connector, or mediator between the spirit and physical realms. Pulling guidance and healing from the spirit world, one can work on the spiritual level to shift physical, emotional, and mental blocks and illness; work with transformative times of life with deeper grounding and attunement; strengthen spiritual boundaries; and work with ancestral stories and burdens to harness the strengths already there and lift the burdens that are not yours to hold. Healing happens forwards and backwards, so shamanic healing is bigger than the individuals. It heals the ancestors as well as the living and the ancestors-yet-to-be. Merle’s own struggles with medical crisis informs their ability to help others moving through their own embodied challenges. Merle was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer in Jan.  2014 and then in Oct. 2015, a tumor in their T8 vertebrae shattered the bone from the inside out. They will be in active treatment the rest of their life but they are fortunate to be a statistical anomaly for surviving a disease that has a median kill rate of just over 3 years. Miraculously, they are living with no evidence of disease; their medical journey has involved both conventional and holistic methods, including shamanic healing and traditional ceremonies, such as yuwipi. Merle has beat the odds and wants to help others who are having to face their own mortality and to do so with compassion.

First-time clients should plan for a 1.5 hour session: $130

Returning clients should plan for a 1 hour follow-up: $110

A sliding scale can be made available on a case by case basis, but as a multiply marginalized person, Merle asks that folks consider their relative positionality and come from a place of generosity. No one will be turned away because lack of funds. And also, it is a myth that healers do not charge for their work. As much as Merle would love to leave the hell of late stage capitalism, here we are and Merle still has to pay rent.