The plight of the Deer Clan

Today a situation has come up, that yet again  puts a part of the previously posted journey “The Grievances of the Clan Guardians ” from September back into sharp focus:

Hunting season is upon us – and yet again the Grievances of the Deer Clan, so eloquently voiced, are laying before me in form of several garbage bags -dumped into the bushes- filled with ripped Deer hides, hoofs and tails and the Animal’s heads sadly looking at me out of broken eyes.

I am upset, finding these on she side of rarely traveled concession roads and – in the dump at the cross-roads. It is not the hunting – giving up their lives that I or the Clan Guardian of the Deer object to – it is the mindless, honor-less discarding of the hides and the“not honoring of the Spirit of the Animal” that is so very evident in this kind of sportsmanship. To me, this is yet another sad evidence of the Broken Hoop in modern society.

The situation is even sadder, because I know these Animals – personally.

The Dow and her now almost grown Fawn used to come out every evening to graze on the clearing besides the small road, where I found them – less than a kilometer away from our land.

Here they were- in better times full of precious Life

Yes, I meanwhile found the gentleman called D. 

He works for a wildlife butcher and would be sooooo very glad, if he could give away free into good hands a huuuuge amount of raw Deer hides to anyone who is willing to take one, tan it him/herself, bring it to a taxidermist to do the work ( cost about $ 250.00) – or at least put down Tobacco and Sage as gifts for the Spirits.

I have put aside money from the donations basket on our family altar ( where patients and clients put something for us to use) and I will tan and cure at least 2 hides.

Is there anyone here, who would join me and also take a hide?

Please contact me!

Thank you for listening.


Smudging Baskets

I like to make/ decorate baskets and fill then with herbs and spices and other natural treasures.

These here contain Sage, Cedar, Juniper Berries, Birch bark, Frankincense resin and pine pitch for smudging.Smudging basket

These 2 baskets feature on their lid a petroglyph from Petroglyph Provincial Park near Peterborough, Ontario

Then there is Deer leather adorned with Animal Guardians, different kinds of fur, feathers and beaded bone designs

Smudging Basket

For the next 5 days we will have our shamanic Art booth on Fair November in Guelph and I am quite sure, these baskets will find good homes .



Virginia Graverette Pigeon, Tribal Elder of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, member of the Cedar Women’s Society, Elder of the Mide Lodge explains:

 “There are a lot of stories and legends that have been brought down from generation to generation. There are a lot of reasons why we should smudge and that it is a good thing to smudge, either with one of the sacred herbs or all of them together.
 In the first place, the sacred herbs tobacco, sage, sweetgras and cedar are gifts of the Four Manido (Spirits of the Four Directions). It was the father of Nanabush who gave the tobacco (ah-say-ma) and shared the custom of smoking with his son after their epic battle in war, as a symbol of peace. Nanabush in turn passed on the custom to the Anishnabe as a ceremony. Thereafter, the Anishnabe smoked the Pipe of Peace before great councils, after war, and before other ceremonies. The Anishnabe adopted the custom and made it part of their daily lives to compose their minds and spirits. It is said that it will chase away feelings that are bad or negative and bring on thoughts that are good or positivie.
In the second place, tobacco (ah-say-ma) was in the nature of an incense, sweet to the taste and fragrant to smell. No other plant is endowed with such qualities. Cedar was offered to the fire to smudge the lodge and people. It is also used to waft the smoke to ward away sickness.
There are no absolutes with sage and sweetgrass.
In the medicine wheel which we convey as the wheel of life, there are Four Directions. When we are born, life begins in the East. The teenage years are in the South. Then mid-life is in the West. When we reach the North, we are grandmas and grandpas and nearly ready to go to the Spirit World as we have done our many deeds on Mother Earth. The journey does not end in the North because we go to the Spirit World and then the cycle continues.
Smudging helps us center ourselves with the four sacred herbs mentioned: tobacco, sweetgrass,
 sage, and cedar.
We gain knowledge and we grow spiritually. Our hearts feel and our spiritual eyes have to see what our Creator wants us to learn. We feel the knowledge in our soul, and we know it comes from our Creator. When we pray, we get answers, then we are nurtured and we grow spiritually.
We begin by using a shell or bowl with a fan or feather. We then smudge the room, slowly walking clockwise around the perimeter of the room, fanning the smudge pot, keeping it lit and wafting the smoke about. Smudge any medicine tool you will be using such as pipe, jewelry, outfit, etc.
It is a good practice to smudge each person in a group, circle, ceremony, and lodge. Starting from the East and holding the smudge pot lit, each person can bathe themselves in the smoke. Many people smudge the heart area first, next the head area, and then the arms, then downward toward the legs. This isn’t the only way you can smudge. It isn’t wrong to smudge another way. We can purify and cleanse fairly regularly in this day and age with so much sickness and bad feelings around. “

I wish to ad, that in Siberia most indigenous people also use juniper, juniper berries, lavender, sage, cedar, pitch from pine, juniper and spruce as well as wild honey to smudge before proceeding with rituals.

Grandmother Chant

Ya no maa…..

My Inde’ teacher taught me the Ya no maa chant waaaaay back, when I was 21.

-Actually I should rather write it like this:

Ya’no ma’a’

…because of the way “a” is vocalized in Inde’….

He taught me this chant and several others and then, when I was keyed into the melody, the inner voice of it, (what we in the West would call “entrained”, then he had me sing/chant my own words to the melody.

Anything that came to my mind, anything I needed, anything I was “calling out for” or “calling in”

So since then, that is what I do: I chant the Ya no maa

and then…….

. This one is for my Grandmother and my Great Grandmother….

. the women of my lineage:

It’s the right time of year for a chant like this.

When the trance comes, so does Grandmother Ulaly

… and we talk….