Dancing Through Fire

By Robbie Warren, Otter Woman Standing

With Susie Spies

Robbie’s spiritual journey began with the cataclysmic events of 9/11 and by the time she walked through the rubble and destruction at Ground Zero six weeks later there was no turning back.  In trying to understand what had happened, and why, she found herself soaking up teachings from many different sources and quickly found herself called to follow the Red Road and connect with her own Native American heritage.

Along her journey she met people who opened doors to her soul and she went to places that helped her remember her who she is.  She learned about the Medicine Wheel, ceremonial dances, shamanic journeying and sweat lodges, and the more she was in ceremony the clearer it became that her old life no longer served her. Her journey took her to Africa many times where she learned that Mother Earth is always at her feet and in her heart and that the ways of Spirit are woven through many cultures.

Robbie’s journey to Spirit cost her dearly; she lost her company, her career, her home, her community and her partner. These were all things that stood between her and her authentic self.  She found that her journey was not just about what she was losing, but what she was learning about herself and her soul. Dancing Through Fire is the story of Robbie’s courage and determination to firstly find her connection to Spirit, and then to live it fully.  Her story is one that inspires others to persevere in their own pursuit to find the life they were meant to live.

Robbie learned that her journey was synonymous with the story of the return of the Fire Dance. In order for her to follow her vision she had to set aside everything that she thought she was until all that remained was Robbie, Medicine Woman – Otter Woman Standing – Chief and visionary.

 

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Acknowledgements

This book has been an amazing process and a learning experience. I didn’t want to write it, but I knew I had to. Some parts of this story were hard to tell, some painful. Some parts of it make me sad to remember while I’m still laughing at others. It is my hope that you have laughed along with me. Now that it’s done I feel both relief and pride.

This book would absolutely not have been possible without Susie Spies, who lovingly transcribed my recorded memories, pelted me with questions from across the Atlantic, encouraged me and partnered with me, laughed and cried with me through the writing process. Susie, you are my soul sister and I love you. Thank you so much.

Thanks also to my editor, publisher and cheerleader Trish MacEnulty who held my hand through the editing process and continually reminds me that I’m not crazy. Trish, thank you for walking through Fire with me and helping me keep my head on straight as we do this dance together.

The beautiful painting on the cover of this book was intuitively created by Renae McGuire after I told her the title of the book. Renae is an amazing and generous artist.

Also a big thanks to Katie Mattson for her creation of the cover art and layout. She knew exactly how to capture the art and the feel of the book.

Jeanne White Eagle has been an inspiration and a source of tremendous support for me as I walked the path that made the stories in this book. Her willingness to write the foreword was such a blessing, and a relief. Jeanne, words can’t express my gratitude for your presence and guidance over the years. Thank you so much.

Thank you to Joseph Rael, Beautiful Painted Arrow, for seeing me.

Last but not least, thanks to Trai, my partner in life, my anchor who keeps me tethered to the ground and who knows when it’s time to either turn down the crazy, or turn it up and dance with me. Trai, my sweet man, I promised it would never be boring.