The Cartography of the Heart

For the next few weeks Denise Andes will be contributing a weekly blog post about self-love and finding our medicine within (a subject folks have been requesting she write about).

Her words are potent and alchemizing, so we’ll be giving you plenty of space in between posts to digest and integrate them.

We start out with the mysterious, gifting you with two of her poems. Let the metaphors and imagery work and settle in you .

And as a beautiful preparation for what’s to come, we invite you to Listen to a track from Denise’s drumming CD.





The Medicine Lies Within

(the shadow speaks:  And this is what I have come to hear in this conversation between one and oneself)

as I understand it…

there is a fire between us.

the self.

words slipping off my tongue like turpentine

cause little explosions of white hot pain, of confusion, of endless


and now

we are left with a devastatingly quiet

holy smoke to stumble through.

there is not enough breath between us to make it out alive.

so we drop to the ground,

becoming that horizontal line where earth and sky meet.

orange flames licking the sky…

engulfing the last blue of dusk.

this is a place of imperfect beauty.

this is a place, if ever there was one, of forgiveness…

this is a place

that we can, at long last, lay our s(words)

to rest

and return home to our beautiful oceanic selves.


The Medicine Lies Within

(the heart answers)

Stars take their sacred place.

You lean deep into the canyon,

searching for your heart.

Surely, it is still here.

Surely, you remember what it is

to love yourself.

You spin backwards in time,

tumbling through star-held darkness.

You left your tired questions here

the night you spoke aloud

of self-doubt, ego-death, body-tension.

Your heart…

covered with a dusting of bones

and elegant failings polished smooth.

You look up

as the stars

become your quiet hope.

Climbing down into the canyon

you lift up your heart with weathered hands,

covered with white earth and dreams.

If you do not love you, who will…?

Who can?

Surely, within the weight of this knowledge

lies  your medicine.

It is a necessary remembering

of bones       of dust       of stars

of forgiving yourself

for all the ways in which you withheld

your love from your self

as if you were the sky…

refusing the tilt of the earth.

denise site

Denise Andes  is a Neo-Reichian Body-Centered Psychotherapist, Shamanic Teacher, CRT, and LPC. As an artist and writer, she has woven eidetic imagery and shamanic healing over the past 25+ years into her private practice in Santa Fe, NM. Denise is delighted to find her practice filled with artists. Her joy is helping people to land in their bodies and enjoy it! She works extensively with developmental, shock/trauma, and self-acceptance issues.

For more information on Denise please visit her website .



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