Category Archives: ESSAYS

WAR PONIES

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The Indian war horse was highly regarded by its American Indian owner, who often honored and protected his war horse by painting tribal symbols upon the animal’s body.

While the symbols used and their meanings varied from tribe to tribe, there were some common symbols that were widely used on the Indian war horse.

Each power symbol has its own specific meaning and the purpose for which it was used was determined by the nature of the dangerous job which the war horse would be asked to do.

The Indian would decorate his horse with carefully chosen war symbols or power symbols which might be intended to give him protection, to indicate the troubles which lay ahead, or which spoke of the courageous heart of the war horse. Some symbols told of the horse’s affection for the warrior. In this article, you will find explanations of some symbols which Indians used to decorate their war horses.

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Native American ~ Sirius ~ Connection

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Souls From Sirius

bfssirius.jpbThose from Sirius have a DEEP CONNECTION to the EARTH and Energies of Nature.  Many Sirians have had numerous lives as American Indians and maintain close ties and memories of these lives. 

They are very visual, both in their ability to see things which others do not, and in their manner of learning. 

Those who have Sirius as their planetary origin are very focused, very determined, and set on whatever path they are on at a given time.

It is very difficult to change the mind of one from Sirius, but once they have become convinced that a new Path is more appropriate, they become totally focused on the New, and release the old quickly.

Sirians have strong beliefs, ideals and personal integrity.

Those from Sirius make loyal, trustworthy friends, and expect the same in return.  They become hurt and disillusioned when these expectations are not meant.

Sirians do not share the inner personal self with others easily, and may have difficulty sharing emotions and expressing feelings and needs.

To be fully accepted and trusted as a close personal friend of a Siriun means that you have been carefully scrutinized.

Those from Sirius tend to be future oriented, and do not enjoy focusing on the past.

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The Peaceful Warrior

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In the midst of chaos the Peaceful Warrior remains at peace for she/he has become master of their thoughts and works to always be in balance with emotion, integrity and character.
The Peaceful Warrior looks not outside of himself  for someone to lead him, but has faith in the leader within himself to always rise to the occasion.
The Peaceful Warrior does not look to conquer his neighbor or foe ~ but to conquer his own foe ~ His own issues in the spiritual battlefield of the mind.
The Peaceful Warrior is an independent thinker, capable of making decisions on his own for the over all good of the clan.
The Peaceful Warrior knows that under any circumstances he  has the ability, wisdom, knowledge and experience to work for the truthful & successful outcome in all things for the greater good.
Peaceful Warriors are the leaders for the future of humanity and,  by the way,  were the leaders of humanities past ~ Danzho, Diyinihii, Gozhooni.
Courtesy of Cochise OnePaw
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A Woman’s Worth. Words of Wisdom From the Elders.

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bfswomanThe Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way.

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The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly.

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A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way.

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Dream Catcher…

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The Origin of Dream Catchers

 
Legend of the Spider and the Grandmother.  What ties together a spider and a grandmother? In an ancient Native American tale, an old grandmother saw a spider nearby her sleeping spot. She had watched the spider for days while he spun his web. Her grandson entered one day and saw the spider. He picked up a rock and was going to crush it, but the grandmother stopped him. He asked her why. But the grandmother just smiled.
 
After the boy left, the spider spoke to the grandmother who had been watching him spin his web for days and to thank her for saving his life he would give her a gift. He showed her how to spin a web. He said the web would snare all the bad dreams and only the good dreams would come through to be remembered. The bad would become entangled in the web. The legend is one explanation of the creation of a dream catcher.
 
bfsdreamcatcherThe Lokata Dream Catcher Legend:  Another legend of the dream catcher tells of an old Lakota spiritual leader who was on a very high mountain and had a vision. In this vision, Iktomi, who was a great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. As they were talking, the spider picked up the willow hoop which had feathers, beads on it and began to spin a web. He and the elder spoke about the cycles of life. We begin as infants, then on to childhood and then adults. As we enter old age, we need to be cared for like children, which complete the circle. Iktomi also spoke of good and bad forces that can alter the forces of nature. When he had finished speaking he gave the elder the finished web and told him that it was a perfect circle with a hole in the center. He instructed him to use the web to help people reach their goals, using their ideas and dreams. The web will catch the good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole. The spiritual elder passed this information on to his people and many hung a dream catcher above their beds. It is said that the dream catcher holds the destiny of the future.
 
The Lakota believe that good and bad dreams move freely about in the night winds. The dream catcher grabs the floating good dreams and holds them in the webbing until the light of day. At this point they pass to the mind of the sleeper so that he can follow his dream.
 
The Origin of the Dream Catcher Found in the Ojibwa Tribe:  As interesting as these legends are, dream catchers, a true Native American art, are attributed to the Ojibwa Tribe based on a long tradition of oral stories and legends passed on through the generations. The Ojibwa tribe, whose traditional homeland is around the Great Lakes, has ancient stories relating the tales of the use of these dream catchers with their spider like web to capture the nightmares of sleeping children. These originally were quite small, only about 3 inches in diameter and made of bent wood, and a string or leather attached to a feather. The pattern used for the webbing was similar to the snowshoes made by the tribe.
 
The dream catcher was hung by a sleeping child to prevent nightmares. The legend was that the bad dreams would be caught in the dream catcher’s web. The ancient story told by the Objibwa tells of Asibikaashi (Spider Woman) who along with Wanabozhoo brought the sun to the people.  Asibikaashi still takes care of her people today; however, since the Ojibwa nation has spread to the four corners of North America, it is difficult to make this journey. So mothers, sisters, and grandmothers took it upon themselves to make the weaving webs for the new babies.The shape is of a circle as that is how the sun travels each day. The web allows for the bad dreams to be caught and the open circle in the center permits the good thoughts to come through. It is traditional to put a feather in the center as it means breath or air which is essential for life. The baby watches the feather move in the flow of air is entertained as well as learning the lesson of the air.  The type of feather generally used signifies different properties; the feather of an owl (a woman’s feather) is symbolic of wisdom and an eagle feather (a man’s feather) represents courage.
 
Today the use of feathers of these birds is forbidden by the government, so sometimes four gems are used to signify the four directions. The Gifts of the Four Directions Each of the four directions holds the promise of attributes important to the Native American. From the East comes the eagle with gifts of the color yellow, spiritual, Father Sky, dreams, and courage.
 
From the West come the gifts of the turtle and bear; protection, the color black, and fire.
 
Next, from the South come the gifts of the cougar: the color red, summer, Mother Earth, and nourishment.
 
And finally, from the North come the gifts of the polar bear: the color white, winter, water, Grandmother Moon, and wisdom.
 
Frances Densmore’s Research Frances Densmore, after extensive research, published in 1929 a book, Chippewa Customs, in which she describes the dream catcher webs and their use of hanging over a baby’s crib to catch bad dreams. For thousands of years, the Native Americans used the dream catcher to provide only dreams of good for their children. The original dream catcher had a very tiny hole in the center and all dreams were caught in the web. Dreams have great powers according to the Old Ones and the web entangles the bad so that they do not reach the sleeper and disturbed his sleep. However, the good dreams float through the center down the trail of beads into the mind of the sleeper. The bad dreams entangled in the web would perish in the light of the sun at daybreak. Popularity of Dream Catchers During the 60’s and 70’s the dream catchers became accepted with other tribes such as Cherokee, Lakota and Navajo. These are not found in all Native American tribes.
 
The popularity of dream catchers today is widespread. You can find jewelry such as earrings, and dream catchers dangling from mirrors in cars as well as the traditional catcher hung over the bed. You can purchase a true Native American made Dream Catcher from various stores along the roads and in towns near the Reservation Lands in Arizona and New Mexico.  In addition, on line sites sell this Native American craft item. Some people want to make their own dream catcher and can find instructional internet sites and books. For many believe the legend of the dream catcher and enjoy peaceful and beautiful dreams by sleeping under its power.
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Native American Crow Gods and Spirits.

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bfsraven1Many people are under the mistaken impression that crows were viewed as harbingers of death in Native American cultures, but in fact, that is not true at all. We do not know of any Native American tribe in which crows were seen as omens of death. Indeed, just the opposite, seeing a crow was (and still is!) considered good luck by many tribes. It is true that crows will eat carrion, but so do many other animals not typically associated with the dead such as bald eagles, bears, etc. In Native American folklore, the intelligence of crows is usually portrayed as their most important feature. In some tribes, the crow is conflated with the raven, a larger cousin of the crow that shares many of the same characteristics. In other tribes, Crow and Raven are distinct mythological characters.

Crows are also used as clan animals in some Native American cultures. Tribes with Crow Clans include the Chippewa (whose Crow Clan and its totem are called Aandeg), the Hopi (whose Crow Clan is called Angwusngyam or Ungwish-wungwa), the Menominee, the Caddo, the Tlingit, and the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico.

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Excerpt from a book written by James Alexander Throm called: The Red Heart.

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 “The Rainbow Crow was beautiful to hear and to see, back in the days when it never got cold, back in the Ancient Days, before Snow Spirit appeared in the World.

When the Snow Spirit did appear, all the people and animals were freezing and a messenger was selected to go up to kijilamuh ka’ong, The Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be. The messenger was to ask The Creator to think of the World as being warm again so that they would not all freeze to death.

Rainbow Crow was chosen to go and he flew upward for three days. He got the Creator’s attention by singing beautifully, but even though he begged the Creator to make it warm again, the Creator said He could not, because He had thought of Cold and He could not unthink it. But He did think of Fire, a thing that could warm the creatures even when it was cold. And so He poked a stick into the Sun until it was burning, and the gave it to Rainbow Crow to carry back to earth for the creatures. The Creator told Rainbow Crow to hurry before it burned all up.

Rainbow Crow dove down and flew as fast as he could go. The burning stick charred all of his beautiful feathers until they were black and since he was carrying the stick in his beak, he breathed the smoke and heat until his voice was hoarse.

And so the Rainbow Crow was black and had an unpleasant cawing voice forever after, but all the creatures honored him, for he had brought Tindeh, fire, for everyone to use.

The Crow is to this day, still honored by hunters and animals, who never kill it for food…and, if you look closely at the Crow’s black feathers you can still see many colors gleaming in the black.”

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Tribute to Our Brothers – The Wolves.

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Native American Wolf Mythology

bfs52Wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American tribe. In most Native cultures, Wolf is considered a medicine being associated with courage, strength, loyalty, and success at hunting. Like bears, wolves are considered closely related to humans by many North American tribes, and the origin stories of some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Quileute and the Kwakiutl, tell of their first ancestors being transformed from wolves into men. In Shoshone mythology, Wolf plays the role of the noble Creator god, while in Anishinabe mythology a wolf character is the brother and true best friend of the culture hero. Among the Pueblo tribes, wolves are considered one of the six directional guardians, associated with the east and the color white. The Zunis carve stone wolf fetishes for protection, ascribing to them both healing and hunting powers.

Wolves are also one of the most common clan animals in Native American cultures. Tribes with Wolf Clans include the Creek (whose Wolf Clan is named Yahalgi or Yvhvlke), the Cherokee (whose Wolf Clan name is Aniwahya or Aniwaya,) the Chippewa (whose Wolf Clan and its totem are called Ma’iingan,) Algonquian tribes like the Lenape, Shawnee and Menominee, the Huron and Iroquois tribes, Plains tribes like the Caddo and Osage, Southern tribes like the Chickasaw, the Pueblo tribes of New Mexico, and Northwest Coast tribes like the Tlingit, Tsimshian, and Kwakiutl. Wolf was an important clan crest on the Northwest Coast and can often be found carved on totem poles. The wolf is also the special tribal symbol of several tribes and bands, such as the Munsee Delaware, the Mohegans, and the Skidi Pawnee. Some eastern tribes, like the Lenape and Shawnee, have a Wolf Dance among their tribal dance traditions

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If you would like to Sign Petitions to Save the Wolves of the World Please Click on the Following Links to Sign Petitions.

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http://www.causes.com/causes/610445-good-wolf/actions/1706783

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/reinstate-endangered-species-protections-gray-wolves-nationwide-prohibiting-hunting-and-trapping/W9wn6ydx

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/jens-stoltenberg-and-fredrik-reinfeldt-stop-wolf-cull-wolves-in-norway-are-critically-endangered-occupy-1#share

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When Great Spirit Calls

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Great Spirit Calling

Great Spirit Calling

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Blue Feather Spirit

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Medicine Bundles

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The sacred medicine bundle is the most holy of holiest among all the Native American First People of the plains and most of the woodland and mountain tribes. Stewardship of these bundles is usually vested in a member of a tribal clan or society, although the power of the bundle is believed to be beneficial to the entire tribe or band. The bundles are opened on specific occasions, and according to precise ritual. Each bundle contains a varied collection of objects and representations of spiritual significance, from animal skins and effigies to ceremonial pipes. Most medicine bundles have been passed down from one keeper to another over such a long span of time that their origins have become shrouded in mystery and myth.

A medicine bundle is a wrapped package used by Native Americans for religious purposes. A package of this type may also be referred to as a medicine bag. Medicine bundles are usually employed as a ritual aid in the observance of their religions. The size of a medicine bundle generally varies from 12 to 14 inches in length, but could be larger.

It is usually a collection of various items that might include seeds, pine cones, grass, animal teeth or claws, horse hair, rocks, crystals, tobacco, beads, arrowheads, bones, or anything else of relatively small size that possesses spiritual value to the bundle’s keeper. A shaman’s bundle generally contains more items than a warrior’s or woman’s bundle, and may include such objects as bone rattles, skins from unborn animals, and the shaman’s hair and nail clippings.

The contents of a medicine bundle are generally considered holy by the tribal community, and are meant to be kept secret by the keeper. The contents of a medicine bundle are not meant to touch the ground. This is why they are to be securely wrapped. Prayers and rituals almost invariably accompany the making and opening of medicine bundles, and women rarely handle them, except in certain matriarchal clans. Of course, women might have their own personal medicine bag. A medicine bundle may be passed down as a generational inheritance.

A medicine bundle is considered a very precious possession which represents a person’s spiritual life, and may possess powers for protection and healing. As the owner grows older, more items may be added to it. Personal medicine bundles are usually buried with the owner, or passed on to a friend upon the owner’s death.

Medicine bundles may also be maintained for an entire tribe. A tribal medicine bundle is usually much larger and contains special objects which may only be handled by certain tribe members. It is only opened on special occasions.

As something that holds supernatural items, the medicine bag must also have some power of its own. Medicine items attributed with various supernatural abilities for the bag would often be procured in a tribal custom known as a vision quest. This ceremony includes personal sacrifice: fasting and prayer over several days in a location isolated from the rest of the community. The purpose is to make contact with natural spiritual forces that help or guide people to reach their potential. The spirits, or totems, help the individual to gather these medicine items, increase knowledge and aid personal spiritual growth.

Typical powers ascribed to medicine bags and their items include increasing hunting abilities, aiding one’s life coping skills, healing allies, hindering enemies and altering the weather.

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Now Our Minds Are One.

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GREETINGS TO THE NATURAL WORLD!

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms – waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning, they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds – from the smallest to the largest – we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

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Blue Feather Spirit

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Princess Angelina

The Cutest Pit Bull in the World needs Your Help to Save Other Dogs.

Our Compass

Because compassion directs us ...

BlueFeatherSpirit

"Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money can not be eaten."