Cultural Roller coaster:

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Healing Chants for D. on Lake Mazinaw

 

I am running up and down in my own living room.

What a contrast to the above image!

I feel full of nervous Energy!

Energy waiting for release and directions

What to do first,

What to attend to, what to leave for later, what can wait a day or 2…..

I am on a cultural roller coaster!

OK:

Let me tell you guys what’s up:

LongHouse

Culture 1:

Well, A week ago we were at the Haudenosaunee Longhouse teaching with our Mohawk friends and yet again received powerful teachings, feasted, laughed and danced……

I should sit down and jot down these teachings, so I remember –

– – the words…..

Mohawk is a tricky language and I only understand the Sache’m, when I go into trance and what he says comes in – in pictures……

Often later he or J. translates and then I am amazed, how accurate it is!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Baby Snapper2

Late at night we rescued 27 freshly hatched baby Snapping turtles 🙂

Culture 2:

We were away on a mini vacation for a week – over to Bon Echo Provincial Park to canoe and see the pictographs that the Anishenabeg Ancestors drew into the mighty rocks rising out of Mazinaw Lake.

While there, I received a VERY powerful vision and Medicine Teachings directly from- –

? – Yea – where DID they come from?

The Spirits –

I can not classify it any better, because that would mean labelling the experience and thereby limiting it, make it smaller, maybe more manageable to my little Bird brain, but also “cutting it down”…….

As of right now, I do not dare to do that……

RL1

Culture 3:

Coming home from this trip we of course had to immediately attend to “modern mundane life” = yet another Farmer’s Market to go to, set up and sell our own handmade Bearpaw Jewellery…

Also of course finding orders in the e-mail, phone messages from family, friends, students and clients, deal with a broken down car and an empty fridge…..

Mergansas

Mergansas

 

Culture 4:

That out of the way I had to hustle and get cracking on my homework for my on line Curandera course and then write the exam for this last week…..

Mexican Folk Healing, Healing Plants, Temazcal teachings and Risa Terapia = Laughter Therapy….

The differences and the similarities of doing a “Limpia” = cleansing prayer over a patient – as done in Mexico versus how I do it in my own practice according to my Ancestor’s and my family teachings or how it would be done in Nepal……..

It all brought me back to the many winters in the mid 1980 that we lived travelled and worked in Mexico…..

I also much enjoy being able to use my Spanish language knowledge, that up here in Canada can easily get rusty…..

Never mind all the Aztec words I remember the yerberas and curanderas using, when selling the Herbs in the Markets……

figura-12

Well, my exam passed I now will go for a little walk out into Mother Nature, swish swush through a deep carpet of fall leaves, breath deeeeep, clear my head a little,and then –

– Return to write my Medicine Diary/ journal about what happened in Bon Echo and – eventually tell you guys all about it 🙂

 

canoe

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Blade Wheel teachings:

After this revealing shamanic journey I felt that I have my work cut out for me:

Find out EVERYTHING ABOUT YAMANTAKA

Yamantaka 5

Like, what are the Buddhist teachings that go along with this deity and how do people “work” with him.

The internet was a big help in doing some research – on the days when we had electricity and our satellite connection worked……

Friends and other people on the path gave helpful tips and suggestions.

Ultimately however there remained the question, why did this Spirit appear to me with such persistence.

Had he attached himself to me at Nyima’s home, simply because I was there and “open”??

Had it to do with the fact that often I work with very sick people facing death or having to fight for their lives, overcoming devastating illnesses, suicidal thoughts and deep depressions?

Was it because I myself had experienced my own death more than once in Near Death Experiences brought on by VERY nasty arrhythmias that eventually necessitated telemetry surgery?

Was it because I have at times to “bargain” with the “Spirit of Death” for the life of one of my patients and now I am experiencing this very Spirit in its Buddhist emanation?

Learning and reading more and also journeying taught me, that the Buddhist Spirit of Death = Yama is not really the same than Yamantaka.

Yamantaka is more in charge of aiding people on the path to experience the death of their own ego!

To chop down an overinflated ego, a “know it all better” ego.

An “Oh I am soooo very enlightened – and you better watch me and listen to my wisdom” kind of ego 😦

An “I am your new guru” kind of pompous ass ego!

The very first question therefore I have to ask myself is: “ Am I a pompous ass??”

Do I come across as one???????

What behaviour makes me one?

What thought process brings out that behaviour?

Is writing this blog maybe evidence of pompous ass behaviour?

Navel gazing……

Is that pompous ass behaviour as well?

Can I even “see” myself in my own mirror?

How is, what I see, when I look at myself different from what others see, perceive me to be?

How can I clean up my act/ behaviour/ practice, my way with other Beings?

Sensing, writing out and then seeing this list of questions makes me want to hide and – just stop EVERYTHING I do……

…. But that leaves people hanging….. and is NOT what my Spirits wanted.

Dreams of who is going to die and who is in trouble and who is depressed and may need a phone call and….. quickly proved that…….

Hiding is not an option.

But AWARENESS is always the first step in the right direction.

And after that???

…. follow the bread crumbs……

So, where were they and how did I “get here”?

Oh yes, the puzzle pieces!!!!!

The visions, the beautiful Crystal rock from Mt Kailash!

All the other dreams……

Yaks and Yak tails for cleansing………(? Have I told you about my Yak tail? No, but I will! )

So, the Spirit moves in mysterious ways, right!

Remember the post about my strange dreams about a young beautiful woman that eventually turned out to be Uma Thurman??

Well, turns out, her dad is Robert Thurman, an eminent scholar about Buddhism and a friend of the Dalai Lama. He wrote a book about his travels to Mt Kailash!

from amazone

No sooner had I found out about that, then I saw this very book in the library – and on the same day it appeared on the reading list of Bhola’s website about the next pilgrimage trip he is organizing to Mt Kailash this year….

http://www.nepalese.it/en/tibet

Ooooh how I am droooooling !

How much I would loooooove to sign up!!

But at 58 with a heart arrhythmia that “killed me 3 times” already that is not an option – – – in THIS lifetime…..

Sorry Bhola! I would soooooo love to…..

I can only travel there in Spirit…..

But I can stick my nose into a book or 2 🙂

Armchair traveller.

Robert Thurman and Ted Wise’s book ‘Circling the Sacred Mountain’ was written in 1999 – and just thinking, what all happened in the world since then makes my head spin – What they hoped for – and what hopes they had for Tibet…….

But during their travels Robert Thurman gave daily teachings about “The Blade Wheel (Swastika) of Mind Reform”, about Yamantaka’s “Wheel of Wisdom” and about honest self reflection and “stomping out and annihilating certain ego based behaviours”.

So, somebody was thinking, that I need that!

Well, yes, sure! I think, we all need that!

Become more aware and grow out of certain ego notions.

Especially because these days Western society is very “into self fulfilment” and so many people are becoming very self centred and I know of quite a few shamanic practitioners, that are simply “full of themselves”

I do not want to inadvertently stumble too deep into their ranks and so – I am putting my nose to the grindstone, into Yamantaka’s teachings and into the answers to the above mentioned questions.

Care to join me?

🙂

The Shaman’s Egg

A very special breakfast!

And an activity to honour the Equinox:
Take a fresh, raw egg and shake it vigorously, to mix yoke and white. Then carefully poke 1to 2-mm square size holes into both ends. Blow out the contents of the egg into a container, wash out your egg and dry it.
Now use paints or magic markers of your choice draw upon it – in mysterious stick figure signs and personal symbols or in any other art or collage form
Put on it your Spirit Guides or their symbology and also all the things, you wish for this coming spring. Using a broken match or other small stick and a red thread -red for life,- hang your Spirit egg onto a budding twig or onto another significant spot. It is the egg of what you aspire to grow into this spring.

Shamans Eggs.

Now nothing shall go to waste, right!?
So of to make an omelet! But do it in a sacred manner this time: The egg itself is the egg of the wisdom of the universe all times all life. The ovid mystery!
When you ad salt, ad it, knowing it symbolizes the very Salt of life, gift of the Earth Mother, who is now waking (or presenting the harvest)
When you add pepper, see it as your creative zest, your inner fire. You may want to add Tabasco !! That will ad some Big fire!
And parsley, green, for growth!
A tomato = Nightshade plant for sensual looooove!???
What else…. be inventive and creative!
And when it is ready eat it as a affirmation / meditation, celebration of yourself and all mysteries that are!Be aware as to what all the ingredients symbolize and what they will bring forth in you!
After all: You are what you eat!

A Question To all:

Which animal really and truly in nature hides eggs in spring???????

Wa-gish the Fox!
In spring Wa-gish robs and hides the eggs of ground-nesting birds.
He buries them for the time his own young are being weaned of milk so to have a soft food supply for them.

In pre-christian times the early farmers in Europe at the time of the Equinox ate copious amounts of rabbit meat, convinced it makes them virile and fertile! Then they went onto the fields and had sex
– to stir up the juices of Mother Earth!

The christian church tried hard to eradicate this custom.
Finally in the year 751 Pope Zechariahs officially prohibited rabbit meat.
But who is to know, what is in the stew over the stove??????
So subsequently all meat was outlawed.
That was the real reason for Lent.
Only later did the church claim to emulate the 40 days of fasting in the desert.

Another custom of early Europe was to throw eggs at each other for fertility and good luck!
And that is what I should be dooooooing right now!


Happy Spring Equinox!!!

Mi-Shell

Medicine Eggs1

Charley’s siblings

Norval Morrisseau – Migration

Well a few years have passed, since I last saw Charley. Tomorrow I will be at his school again and I wonder, how many siblings he has  now……

Let’s go back to the Social Studies teachings of 2010:

The following scenario is real,  just all names have been changed.

Envision the little elementary school in R. not far from where I live. Mostly white kids, a few Asian and about 12 Native students; Some Mohawk, some Ojibwa, some from other tribes, who’s parents moved here….

The subject of the day was family – and so all the kids in grade 1 were asked to tell how many siblings they have – counting them, you know….

All goes well, until it is little Charley BlackOtter’ turn to speak.

“15”! he announces.

“WHAT???” the teacher wonders – “No, Charley, are you sure?

” Yes!” The teacher is perplexed and decides to let it go for now. She knows, that Charley’s  mom has him and 3 other kids at home.

. Now the teacher is really perplexed. To make matters worse, Charley gets teased during recess. To make THAT matter worse, an older Native boy rises to the occasion of protector and brings all his followers. They whack the white kids with their tennis shoes because they made fun of Charley and his mom and SHE is a BLackOtter!!!

The teaches break up the fight and discuss with Charley the consequences of telling tall stories that are not quite true. Little Charley , now in the principal’s office, hangs his head and confesses, yes, he was wrong, he has 17 brothers and sisters, not 15 and he is sorry he had miscounted.

The school staff discusses the matter further. The teacher does have to call Charley’s mom anyway and asks her again about, how many kids she has. “What business is it of yours” is the answer. the teacher explains: Mom BlackOtter replies: If Charley says he has 17 brothers and sisters, than that must be true!” NOW the principal is perplexed. But she also knows; it has something to do with being Native. Just what exactly…???

Maybe the kids of his 2 aunties count as siblings????

She also checks her records and finds out, Ms BlackOtter is in her late twenties and lives in a “common law partnership”

She also knows – from the local gossip, that Charley’s grandma is a “special” person. Not that she always was – Thelma R. in her days was known to be a famous drunk and “loose” and none of her 6 kids are from the same father, ifffff indeed a father was known at all. Thelma was at one time a reasonably good student in the church run residential school over near P. but then had “turned sour” = gotten pregnant, claimed the priest to be the father (Oh what a nasty accusation that was back in the days…) The child was taken away from her after his birth abd given for adoption by the Church and Thelma had “married the bottle” and was known as a lay down drunk” up into her mid 40 ties… But then somehow she had managed to sober up, collect all her various kids around her and had moved back out to the land. = a small parcel of land that due to some treaty was her family’s…

Now Thelma was some sort of a matriarch and not good to eat Cherries with. She had taken up the “Old religion “ and now was considered an Elder and highly respected by her folks.

the principal was not inclined to tackle Thelma or anyone of her daughters. But still… she would love to find out, what was behind the 17 brothers and sisters, that Charley claimed to have.

Hmmm….. Maybe she should phone that Medicine woman- lady who comes to the school and teaches about Native customs.

So my phone rings.

Well, Lets see, if we can shed some light into Charley’s family relations:

1) Charley’s mom was married for a brief time to an Ojibwa guy from Ignace, further west, they had the oldest, now in G. high school and soon to graduate from there. That marriage broke up when the man moved out to Alberta and lives together with a lovely Cree lady and has 2 kids with her – and the one she adopted from her sister that had a few too many and so – in Alberta Charley has 3 siblings….because in Ojibwa culture, your brother’s brothers and sisters are your brothers and sisters….

2) Then there is little Hannah and her dad, who did not stay long either, but he now lives out on the reservation, and has 3 more kids -all waaaay older than Hannah but – Charley’s siblings.

3)Then Charley’s dad, who lives out in P. with another lady. He has 3 kids with her, but she has 2 from a previous marriage = +5 siblings for Charley

4)Then there is Henry, the guy that is now Ms BlackOtter’s common law husband and with whom she has little Ella and baby Henry the 2nd.

Henry is a nice guy, but he has an ex- wife on Curve Lake with 2 kids and then there was this crazy girlfriend before Charley’s mom and there also was a little baby…. now being raised by Henry’s mother in Curve Lake…. that then would be Charlie’s sister Marjory….

Soooo: Do I know all these people ?

No. / well, since  when I first wrote this ,  I know 2 more …

I know Elder Thelma S. and 2 of her daughters from the Pow Wow in T. last year. But I know, how Ojibway society works and how people view relations.

And I can explain it to the principal in the school. – Now, were we to add all the kids from Charley’s Aunties and Uncles, we would be in the 60 kids range – easy.

But Charley is smart. He knows already, that white people do not count these brothers and sisters….:)

Good for him!Norval  Morrisseau  Ancestral Spirit Speaks to Children

The Grievances of the Clan Guardians

My husband persuaded me to sign up to the Shamanic Practitioner’s Conference that this year is taking place at the “Edge” retreat center just outside Algonquin park.

The organizer had put out a “request” to try and journey to the Loon to find out information about what the subject of this conference is supposed to be!??

I found that somewhat strange, but on the other hand, it then is a participation-driven event and I quite enjoy these better than “workshops” and lectures…

These days my household is quite busy with a good friend staying with us, with Bearpaw, our business, and with clients, patients and students needing attention. So during the day i did not find the time to journey, but in the evening A. and me attended our weekly drum circle and while the group played on the large Grandmother Drum I remembered the journey request the organizer of the thaand closed my eyes:

For me the Loon is inevitably Maang, the “ Ee’ren – or “Manitou” of all the Loons everywhere on Mother Earth.

He also is the Clan Guardian of the Anishinaabe Loon Clans and as such I have had dealings with Him on several previous occasions.

So I was not surprised to find myself immediately in the middle of the primordial waters just after the Great Flood with Nananboojou sitting astride on Gineebik, the Great Underwater Serpent and surrounded by the assembly of Clan Guardians.
2 of my personal Guardians accompanied me and also sat down on the log-like Snake.
I was somehow suspended in the water.
Maang was there too and I had brought a Fish for him as an offering and then presented my request for a Medicine Message to him. He however did not eat the fish but draped it onto the back of Gineebik and addressed me, while all the other Manitous moved closer to listen. There of course also was the Crane, the Marten, the Sturgeon, the Deer, the Bear, the Birds who are the other main Clan Guardians……
Maang spoke in a “grovely picture language” = lots of gravely rough pebbles in and among the images….which were greyish brown and …sad.
It went something like this: I will tell you my message, so you can bring forward my grievances:
There were scenes of people driving loud and smelly motor boats up and down a lakes or waterway and waves were splashing ashore and into a Loon’s nest drenching it….
There was a knotty ball of fishing line with rusty poky hooks littering the lake’s bottom and entangling garbage and debris.
There were these gray lead weights in and among the rocks.
There was a dead loon,bloated and floating in the shallows……………
I felt put on the spot and did not know anything else as to say, other than how sorry I was…
I felt awful!
.
No sooner had Maang stopped transmitting his message, when Ajechau, the Crane stepped forward and repeated every image Maang had shown me.
There however was also the image of a group of nesting trees being cut down and…..?? The drum group had stopped playing the first rhythm and started talking, but A., with some shamanic experience,  saw, what was going on and started a steady fast trance rhythm, that transported me back to the scene.
.
But it was to get a lot worse, as next Wabi zashi, the Marten spoke up and showed me a horrrrrrible fur farm – somewhere outside – or near New Liskard, where 2 middle aged men worked. One of them was smoking. Martens, Mink and other fur bearing Brothers and Sisters were transferred into small cages and these cages were then put into an old freezer truck and a hose was attached to the exhaust and into the compartment and then the engine turned on. Then the men left… the horror and suffering that came next made me nauseous and still does again now…..
When the men returned ?? the next day??, they skinned the Marten People and put the carcasses on ice –?? for a business that makes canned cat food…..!!!!!!
The Pelts were to be shipped to Hong Kong.

.
The Next Manitou that spoke up to me was Wawashesh-shee the Deer.
He showed me a place outside ???Huntsville??? where a butcher works. This man cuts up the Deer and Moose People and prepares their meat for the hunters to take home. But the hunters do not want the legs and the heads and most also do not want the fur. So it is all “dumped” in a remote bush location.
The leader of the Deer Clan wants the people to use the hides!
Like it was done – before……
There is a man, I saw his face and got his name… D. (I will not write THAT here on the internet…)
He would gladly give away the hides free to people!
I again said I was sorry and promised I would tell here, so these hides can hopefully be used.
This is, when Gichi Maqua spoke up and stated, that he has similar grievances:
Nowadays the people hunt his kin for sport, not for food and often do not use the meat for anything other than their dogs. Also the pelts are not used and the head of hunted Bear People are not properly hung into a Tree facing east.
If this continues, illnesses and diseases will come…..
…………………………..……………………………………………………
The drum group had again stopped playing and so I did, what I was shown to do in situations like this…..
…there is a certain healing rhythm and chant .. ….
…………………………..……………………………………………………
When we slowly and gently stopped drumming, I promised to return to hear the grievances of the Manitou of the Bird Clan later that night……
I found myself back at our drumming location…….
I was a bit shaken and exhausted and F. offered me a cup of hot tea……..
.
Early yesterday morning I journeyed back to the Place of the Waters and all the Animals were there, waiting.
Somehow I had a can of Tuna and opened it and several large live fish came out. Then occurred it to me, that everyone of the Ee’rens = Manitous eat Fish….
but Wawashesh-shee said, that I was very wrong there. He ate no fish!
.
Sturgeon spoke up for the Fish Clan and showed me a devastated bottom of a huuuuge river – ? St Laurence near ?? Montreal?? with a thick layer of oily sludge on the bottom that was littered with garbage and large derbies and oil drums and also parts of machines from large boats.
It stank!
Then there was some sort of a barrier in the middle of the river that forced the large Animals to ”rise” = swim higher and into the area where the propellers of large boats would easily hurt them……
…..I could write more grisly details here, but I am upset, as it is, having to type and thereby re-live the vision here. Again I felt humiliated and sad and promised I would speak for the plight of the Fish Clan……
.
The last Clan I thought would speak up was the Bird Clan People. But the only images I got were lots of Robins, small Finches, Chickadees and Warblers singing and fluttering around between the Trees and coming to the feeder in a garden in a city.
It was just a peaceful scene and I felt sooooo relieved……
.
L. my Miahanit, told me it was good for today and I was to write all this down……
.
…………………………………………..
To me the journey reminds us, that the Spirits of Place of whom Maang the Loon is one, wish to be heard and respected as such. Since the time of Beginnings they are the Guardians of the land upon which we will hold this weekend meeting. They remind is of the plight of their charges – the real wild animals – and hope, we can do something to make it better, or at least stand in respect to hear them and do our part in improving the situation.

.
.
P.S.
I wondered, what the ” thing with the Tuna Fish can” was all about, and went “back” yet again today in the morning and there were only Lira, Aya…..!     and Fretty  (3 of my Miahanits on the back of Gineebik.!???!!
I asked, what that was all about and Fretty explained, that I had opened a “nasty can of fish ” that the organizers of the event had not anticipated.
I will have to deal with some repercussions, because I  posted these TRUTH, that nobody wants to look at.
Lira sayed, that  always assume that “everyone is on the same page than me”(  =vision:  all Ee’rens eat Fish….) –  But that is not so and I will get to hear about this on the conference by the people in charge there…..
.
I am not surprised to hear that, given I now also read a few of the other participants journeys and … well….
…..let me find a link….

On a hot day in Huntsville…

As previously mentioned, June 21st is National Aboriginal Day and I was in Huntsville to bring teachings:

It was hot and very windy day. We were on site 2 hours early to set up the teaching area and several teaching stations that explain a little about the differences – and similarities of several First Nations.

To honor the Kanien’keha’:ka, the People of the Flint,(Mohawk) I had brought a Deer skin, as Deer is seen as the leader of the Animals, Maple twigs and Maple sirup as Maple is seen as the leader of the Trees. Strawberries are the leaders of the Food people, being the very first that are ripe up here – but we could not exhibit our delicious Strawberries, because the leader of the Ant People was right there to eat them up/ carry them away.. 😦

For the 3 clans of the People of the Flint I put the Turtle shell for the Turtle Clan, the Wolf foot for the Wolf Clan,and Bear fur for the Bear Clan. You also see my Water Drum, a woven basket with dried Squash and ceremonial heritage Corn and a little bottle of Maple sirup. Then there was the Tobacco pouch the Sachem of the Wolf Clan had given me as a present for a healing I had done for his family and the traditional Healing Rattle, I had received from a lady who’s grandfather was a doctor in the area in the 1920ties and who had received it for helping a Mohawk man,whom he had helped after a bad accident.(Peter now uses this rattle in the longhouse during certain songs and dances 🙂 )

The exhibit to honor the Buffalo Nations out West had the large Buffalo skull I received, honored by Buffalo wool, bead work and f”ed” with Sage and Sweet grass. The panel has traditional buffalo teachings on it as well as the sad history of the Buffalo slaughter of the late 18hundrets….

Then the exhibit for the Anishinaabe shows a traditional wabenowin rattle contrasted by a more modern Turtle rattle a pouch and tie with the traditional floral bead work of the Woodland Culture,A white Rabbit fur represents Nanabozho, a messenger of G’tchi Manitou, an intermediary on Earth among different species of beings and an advocate for the Anishinaabe, to whom he imparted the gift of knowledge.

The Turtle – (Snapping Turtle shell) again stands for Earth In the back is one of my handmade Sweet Grass smudging baskets with Sage,(West) Cedar,(North) and home grown Tobacco (East)and a Sweet grass braid (South)

Here on the picture still in the plastic bag is a shell with smudging herbs that was lit for the noon ceremony and onto the little dishes I would put Herbs, that people can use as offerings to put their own Prayers into the Sacred Fire and send them to Creator. We had to keep this covered until the last minute because of the strong wind, that was trying to blow things about….

 I have no pictures of the things being in use, but I am sure you know, that it is strictly against cultural norms to photograph the Prayers and  ceremonies while they are being conducted.

Many Elders also do not allow people to take pictures of any teachings. I however belief, that every little bit helps to bring understanding and tolerance to a broader audience and so am OK with being photographed or filmed while teaching. I however do not like the media interfere with what I do, I do not “pose” for pictures and do not answer questions of the media while teaching. When there is healing rituals or a sharing circle, then I do no allow any media.

We also did set up a teaching area with a Medicine wheel, the big drum and all the hand drums. In the next post there will be a few pics about what went on there….

There was supposed to be another Native Elder from a local community .

He has promised to bring Prayers and teachings, but he did not show up and it was an awkward situation with all the town’s dignitaries and the TV crew waiting and waiting and waiting in the searing 40+ heat….

…..until they decided, that I was on my own for the day…

There were a lot of people in the central plaza and several school classes had come to attend and learn.

So I grabbed my drum, entrusted the Smudge to a knowledgeable Anishinaabe que and  did the ceremony and the following teachings alone.

Mother Earth the Turtle

Healing Earth Tarot
7 of Shields
The blue waves of the sea surround a spooked wheel with the Great Turtle and her eggs in its Center.
For me this card encompasses a whole world view:
Mother Earth the Turtle
floating within the blue blanket of Father Sky.

She is seen with her 7 eggs, symbolizing the future of us all, hinting at the next 7 generations following ours, the people, for whom we need to steward and protect our living Mother, so in turn She will continue to nurture and feed all of her living children residing on her broad back.
All the creation myth of the First Nations, in which Mother Earth the Turtle feature prominently float through my mind.

Here is one, often told in our Longhouse:

The Earth on Turtle’s Back
Long time ago, before the Earth was here, all was water. Many creatures lived in the water, swimming about. Far above the clouds, there was, however, a land where lived a powerful chief. His wife was going to have a baby. In that Sky land was a great tree with four large roots, stretching out to each of the four sacred directions, and bearing many kinds of fruits and flowers.

One night the chief’s wife dreamed that the great tree had been uprooted. The chief perceived that this was a dream of great power, and thus must be fulfilled. With great effort, the tree was uprooted, leaving a large hole in the sky. The chief’s wife leaned to look through the hole, but lost her balance and fell.

Grasping at the tree as she fell, she only managed to hold onto a handful of seeds. The water creatures below saw her falling. They realized that she was not a water creature and tried desperately to think of a way to help her.

“I have heard,” said one, “that there is earth far below the waters. Perhaps we should try to get some for her to stand upon.”

One by one the animals tried to dive down far enough to retrieve land, but one by one they failed. Finally, brave little muskrat tried one last time. Deeper and deeper she dove until her little lungs almost burst. Suddenly she found a bit of land. Scooping it up, she frantically swam to the surface. But alas, where to put the land?

The Turtle said, “Put it on my back. I will hold up the Land and the Sky Woman.” And so they did. Sky woman landed safely on Turtle’s back and was very thankful. She cast the seeds about.

The Land on the Turtle’s back became ever so beautiful. The tiny piece of Earth on the turtle’s back began to grow.

It grew and grew and grew until it formed an island in the water. The island grew larger and larger, but still the turtle bore the weight of the Earth on his back. A huge island sat in the middle of the water, and today that island is known as North America or  “Turtle Island.


But not only the Native Americans have stories about the Great Turtle, the Chinese do too and so do tribal people in Africa and Australia.
Turtle is universal.
Turtle provides grounding for all our high flying ideas, asking questions of sustainability and consideration for all life on this small and so very fragile planet.
It asks each and every one of us to do their part, not only lip service and – maybe a little recycling…..

Mother Earth the Turtle is a recurring subject in my art.
Again and again She appears,
As bone carving on a Medicine pouch,
As petroglyph drawing on a drum.
As a pendant or pin in the jewelry I make my living with…..
Each and every time I draw Her, carve Her, cut Her shape out of Sterling silver or any other metal, I am speaking her message – and the message of all my Relations.
Inspired by this card, I will today, yet again create a Turtle, draw a Turtle, speak of Turtles……

Will you hear me?