Lone pine tree in front of San Francisco peaks at night in Flagstaff AZ

Carla Meeske​

Carla Meeske photographs the starry night sky in Spirit filled landscapes, creating shimmering portals that transport you into the hidden dimensions of ancient wisdom. The Milky Way is our home. The stars enlighten earth, and she responds with blooming life. Us. In daytime the closest star, our Sun, illuminates our world. Night brings the entire community of stars in our galaxy, and even the worlds beyond. We can see where we really live. We can feel the heaven’s love.

image of Carla with her drum

Shamanic Adventurer in the Natural World

A Shamanic Healer for 30 years, I teach Shamanism for helping animals and humans to seekers across the globe.  My work is about merging with Earth, Sky and Compassionate Spirits to bring fresh expressions of ancient wisdom. The mystical adventures in the natural world are born from connecting with Spirits shamanically, while having fun outside. I have: been guided to hidden flushes of yummy Matsutake Mushrooms; encountered shimmering portals in ocean reefs while having a Tarpon protect me from getting the bends; passed through the veil into the sandstone cliffs in Glen Canyon to meet an Elder there who taught me the power of Wind, Rain and Stone; won bike races because I merged with a very fast Power Animal who made my legs whirl!
These experiences of merging while in nature birthed the modern expression of Shamanism in my SpiritHealer Circle School. We meet Cosmic Dragons, explore the Spiral in Time, and practice Connected Flow and Healings. It is this personal journey that gave shape to the cairns along the way on the path to creating my Milky Night Images.  

Tree skeleton frames a fir tree and the Milky Way

becoming an astrophotographer

In Hawaii on vacation in 2006, I stepped into the LavaLight Gallery and was blown away by CJ Kale’s images of light-painted trees in the starry night. I wanted to do that! I bookmarked that thought in my mind and made a silent promise to myself. I had dabbled in travel and art photography and some of my images were amazing, but I didn’t get serious about photography until 2018 when I bought a Sony 6500 for vlogging and found a tutorial on photographing the Milky Way.

I headed out into the dark sky of the Mogollon Rim and boom, like a rocket ship, I was off shooting the night sky here in Arizona. With training in photography and editing from the best of the best, my laser focus was to create images that are portals into the Spirit World through the dancing mirror of our beautiful land and starry nights.

Joshua Tree Skull Rock
Skull Rock: Joshua Tree National Park, CA

The Magic of Night

A national park can be like a crowded zoo all day long, but at 2 a.m. even the busiest stop at the Grand Canyon is mine alone. It’s alive with wonder! Sometimes it’s the cooing of birds or the swoop of a night hawk and even eyes that glimmer from the edges. “Hi, friends! Thank you for allowing me to share this world with you.” As long as the location is away from city lights, it’s Heaven on Earth!

Night photography is very complicated and requires laser focus, but once the camera is whirring away, there is time to absorb the beauty. I didn’t know the constellations until I embarked on these night adventures. Now the stars feature as much in my world as the plants in my Sonoran desert home.

Yucca Elata at night in the Sonoran Desert

partnership with Spirit

Spirits of the land are important in the image. Asked for permission formally, the Spirits become creative partners that make images come alive. If I make my offerings in the daytime when I am scouting, I may feel guided to turn here and move a bit there, only to look down and discover a pottery shard. Out in the dark, I may hear a whisper: “try over there and you’ll get a better picture,” and it’s always true!

image from the Mogollon Rim in Arizona overseeing a highway of light with the Milky Way.

guiding light on sacred land

The sky is our permanence. Heavenly bodies keep time, guide our path, and create the energetic rhythm of the Earth. Our ancestors depended on the stars to keep track of their lives: telling time; star-based navigation; measuring the seasons; animistic stories of the constellations holding tribal legends that explain human nature and the ways of the natural world. 
In my Milky Night images, the stars and the Earth create passageways. View them with a dreaming eye and an open heart. Sacred Spirit may appear and guide you through the shimmering portal, into a world of beauty.

Carla’s lifestyle


Shamanic healing and teaching are Carla’s core; everything in her life unfolds from partnership with sacred Spirits. Milky Night images are the expression of the shamanic voice of the land and sky.


Sony cameras, star trackers, apps, and a laptop (gear gear gear!) Warm clothes, a great truck and hot tea. Intense sessions with Photoshop. These are the ingredients for the magic you see.


Being alone in far away places in the middle of the night. Getting lost in the Goblin forest. Singing along with nightingales. Honoring the Milky Way. Enter this magic with me through every image.

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