Cassandra teaches Active Dreaming, storytelling, writing, ritual, and shamanic practices (including journeying, healing, divination, and assisting with death and dying).  For twenty-five years, she’s taught shamanic techniques as well as and theater. 

She learned from shamans influenced by their culture and also shamans that practice devoid of cultural influence. In 1998, her mentor, Albert “Little Turtle” Dugas, gifted her his medicine bundle. Cassandra upholds his teachings (as promised) and does them in her way - as he insisted.

The theatrical edge to her work is influenced by her BFA in Drama: Production/Directing from Carnegie Mellon. Her Master's is a Special Field Study in Shamanism in the Arts from Wesleyan University. In 2017,  she completed Robert Moss Teacher Training Programs Level 1, 2 and 3. Currently she is futher studying drawing and painting.


Living Proof: Macrobiotcs and Shamanism Heal

On her 28th birthday in 1998, Cassandra was diagnosed with a rapidly-spreading eye disease of unknown cause that had less than 100 case studies in the world. Minutes after diagnosis, she had surgery to contain the disease and lost partial vision in one eye. Weeks later, the disease spread. A second surgery took the eye’s central vision. Days later, the disease attacked the other eye. Her surgeon told her to enjoy her last seeing holidays.

After Christmas, her surgeon got an idea to try prednisone to calm the disease. Surprisingly, it worked. But at lower dose the disease activated. So for five and a half years, she took high-dose prednisone and struggled with its side-effects. She saw many ophthalmological and medical specialists without finding new information about her illness. Her health deteriorated to the point that three specialists in separate medical practices thought she would soon die.

With nothing to lose, she followed a physical therapist’s advice to see a Naturopath that did Nambrudapad's Allergy Elimination Technique. The first treatment gave her minor relief. So over the next year, she had treatments, sometimes as many as five a week. Her health gradually improved. Still, she still needed high-dose prednisone to stabilize her eyes – then the veins in her eyes bled. Her surgeon wanted to start chemotherapy. She doubted her weakened body could endure it. Her Naturopath didn't have any other treatments to offer. It looked like she’d run out of options.

A friend suggested Macrobiotics. She doubted food could heal her problem, but felt she didn’t have anything to lose. The next day, she met with Michio Kushi who in the 1950's, helped introduce modern macrobiotics in the United States and in 1999, had a permanent collection on macrobiotics and alternative healthcare opened in his name at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Michio gave her a tailored macrobiotic diet. In days, her health radically improved. In months she’d weaned to low-dose prednisone – yet the disease activated without the drug.

Fortunately, as she continued her diet, she and her mother read Lewis Mehl Madrona’s books. Lewis had multiple medical degrees and saw medically unexplainable shamanic healings while living on a reservation. His work focused on using the best of both methods. Cassandra decided to seek his help. Her mother agreed to provide support during the healing.

In a workshop with over fifty people, Lewis guided Cassandra on a shamanic journey to meet and talk with her disease. She described the events as she journeyed so attendees could understand what she experienced. In that one journey, she learned why the disease came to her, thanked it for coming, told it she would do this for herself, and told it leave. From then on, she no longer needed medicine.
Twenty years after diagnosis, her disease still renders suffers low vision or blind. Her fight is documented by Retina Specialists.


 

Email:
cassandra@cassandradreams.com