Circle Of Dawn is humbly grateful to share some of our favorite thoughts, poems, stories and words of wisdom and love with all of you. May they help to further illuminate your life and lift up your Soul & Spirit as they have ours. Take in these words in as 'medicines' to aid and support you through your life's journey. Comments and additions may be emailed to Michelle at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Forgive us if we've imposed in any way.
The prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor
Peace and Dignity Journeys emerged from the first Continental Encounter of Indigenous Pueblos and Nations in Quito, Ecuador (1990). At Quito a mandate for the unification of all Indigenous Peoples from throughout the continent was declared under the sacred principle of the Eagle and the Condor. The prophesy of the Eagle and the Condor is the foundation of the peace and Dignity Journeys. Every four years since 1992, spiritual runners from Indigenous Nations have carried the sacred staffs of the Eagle and the Condor to thousands of Indigenous communities throughout the western hemisphere. Peace and Dignity Journeys are spiritual runs that embody the prophecy of the Eagle and Condor. This prophecy mandates that at this time all Indigenous Peoples in the Western Hemisphere shall be reunited in a spiritual way in order to heal our nations so we can begin to work towards the future for our children and generations to come. Through the Journeys, participant runners and supporters work to accomplish this goal by helping each other reconnect to their respective spiritual practices and traditions; by helping each other relearn our role in the world as Indigenous Peoples; and by reminding each other of our responsibilities to Mother Earth, our communities and ourselves.
THE TURTLE'S VOICE IS HEARD
From: Grandmother "Gram"
Waynonaha Maka Nupa:
Bear Clan from her Father who is of Lakota descent and
the Bird Clan from her Mother of the Cherokee Nation.
When we lived on the Seneca land in Western New York we once found a turtle that had been hit by a car.. It was a good size river turtle and had its shell cracked. From the size of its shell the turtle was probably about 20 years old. Lynn and I stopped to see what we could to and decided we could not leave it on the road to be run over time and again. We gently wrapped it up in a blanket and Lynn put it in the back of our truck in a box. I felt so bad as the river or water turtles have no voice with which to cry or to let you know it was in pain. The dessert Turtle how ever can make many sounds and can communicate with you. It can even cry and let you know it is in pain, it can even cry if it is sad. They make a mournful cry almost like a human being.
My Sister in law takes care of the dessert turtles that have been in captivity. They carry diseases from humans so can not be let back into the wilderness to infect the wild turtles.. She at one time had almost 27 of them in her home.. I had close up front connection to those turtles and they were the most fascinating intelligent little people I have ever met..
One time my friend Jo Turner came to see me in Nevada, One of the old turtles called Grandpa was sick and , took a liking to her. He had the lung sickness brought on by human germs. It is similar to pneumonia in Humans. Joe took time to work with his healing. She would sit on the floor for hours holding him and working with his healing..She had to go back to her base in Arizona she was in the military. When she left the old turtle followed her to the door. For days he stayed by that door crying for her to come back.
One day I was doing some research in the Bible and came across the Songs of Solomon. I have always loved those parts of the Bible that give you such insight as well as wisdom.. This one stuck out in my mind for ever it is the 2:12 song about When the Turtle Sings. The verse goes, "The time of the singing of the bird is come, and the Turtle's voice is heard on our land."
Depending upon which turtle he was speaking of it would have to be very silent indeed for the voices of the water turtle to be heard as it only whispers in a soft hissing sound. I think it refers to the end of time as we know it here, and the beginning of the new world. I pray it will come soon and stop all these wars. It is only when we stop the talking and open our ears that this will happen. We must be very quiet to hear the voice of the turtle whisper.
So back to the turtle we found; we were told to take it to the old man who makes rattles from the turtle shells. We told him what had happened and that the turtle was still alive not dead.. He told us to bring it in to his little house.. Lynn went back to the truck and picked up the box with the turtle in it. The poor thing was trying to get out of the box and it was oozing its insides as it exerted itself. The old man looked at the turtle, as he was turtle clan himself, It was almost like he was talking to the turtle.
Finally he took out the turtle from the blanket and put a noose of string around its throat; then he tied one around its tail. After that he put it on the ground and hammered two pegs in the earth.. He stretched the turtles neck and tail between these two pegs until its tail and neck were pulled out as far as they would go.. Lynn and I thought that we should leave at that time but he motioned us to stay.. Lynn went back out and got some tobacco from the truck and offered it to the old man. He took it and lay it beside the turtle all the while chanting some soft sound deep in his throat as he rattled an old turtle shell rattle. We sit there for the night and into the next day only having water and nothing else. We did not talk for to do so would be rude.. The old man did not talk to us in this waiting time he continued to pray in his soft low voice.
About five in the afternoon of the second day the turtle started to make a long crying sound it was the most painful sound I have ever heard a living soul make. This went on for over an hour finally it just stopped and let out its last gasping breath. The old man said we could go and we were to come back in a month to see him again.. I did not ask why or what it was for, we just said our good buys and left. I marked the calender to remember the date and put it in the back of my mind..
The time rolled around for us to return to the old man's home. I gathered up some food and other things to share with him and we went off to see him once more.. When we arrived he was sitting out on an old backless chair just watching the road. He had been expecting us he said. We unloaded the boxes of food and put them in his tiny kitchen... He motioned us to sit down on the porch beside his chair. After a while he lit up a bowl of tobacco and fanned the smoke over us and then sit that bowl in the middle of the walk way. Only then did he start to tell us this story about the turtle's voice. He went back to the story about the huge water turtle that came and gave its shell so that Sky Woman could plant her corn on its back. He spoke of the turtles that once lived in our oceans called Blue Turtles, as big as whole countries. That he said was why we call this land of ours Turtle Island. It looks from the sky world like a big Blue Turtle laying in the water. He said that the water turtle had not been gifted with sound. It was the protector of the human beings who were to come and live here on Turtle Island.. He spoke of the time when the turtle clan saved a little boy who had fallen off a ledge into the water and hit his head.. The turtles carried that little boy on their backs back to the village. From that time forward they were held in great respect and the people adopted the Turtle as the protector of the people. The old women of that clan are responsible for the speakers who speak on the floor of the Long House. Women cannot speak here but the old Grandmothers have the say as to what is spoken, and can take the speaker off the floor if they so choose too. They can take a Chief down if he is not speaking the truth, and break off his horns so he will never be honored in the long house again.
He told us many things that day, and one was that the water turtle had only a voice to sing its death song with. He said that the only time a water turtle was heard was when it sent its voice into the spirit land to let them know it was coming. I feel that this is so important to us all as we struggle through these times. The ways of the animal kingdom are true and are never changing.
After we shared some food and coffee he handed us the blanket wrapped turtle. we dared not open it there. When we got home Lynn unwrapped the turtle expecting to see a badly decomposed dead turtle. Instead we saw a perfectly preserved turtle with its head stretched out in song. He had preserved it and made it into a rattle for ceremonial use.. I have never seen such work and so well done.
To this day I honor that old man and the way he gave the turtle a voice even after death. They use such turtle rattles in the Long House for praying.. and for other ceremonies. Listen and you will hear the voice of the turtle as it whispers to you.
AS ABOVE, SO IT IS BELOW
From: Grandmother "Gram"
Waynonaha Maka Nupa:
I looked into the clear smooth surface of the pond and saw my reflection. Above me, the tree was bursting into flame with the colors of fall. The sky was so blue, bluer even than the deep water that filled the pond. The sweet smell of the water filled my mind with memories that came to speak of times spent in just such a setting.
I was taken to a time of younger years, when the worries of this world, and all that they can bring, were but stars that shown in a very distant future. As stars whose light takes many years to reach us, these were things that would come to also pass. These stars were never meant to been seen until time had come for them to appear. We are all star being whose light is still traveling to reach the Earth Mother. In time, we too will be reflected back out to Creation. Beings of light, creations of love, we are born and given to the light. Here on this Mother Earth we are nourished, loved, and protected by Creator.
I watched the small water bugs and tadpoles slip just under the surface of the water, never making a ripple. Tiny silver, transparent minnows darted back and forth seeking bits of food from the bottom grasses. Looking into the depth of the pond I understood the connection that we have to the Great Mystery. Before me, in the water, opened the entrance to the spirit lodge. Within that lodge was the answer to Creation. We are but the reflection of all that is above us in the Spirit World, the Field of Plenty. From this sacred place all life and spirit flows down to us here on this, the Earth our Mother. We are but the reflection in the water.
The Grandmother Moon rises, casting silver stars on the water as she reflects the light from Grandfather Sun. It is this light of love that she reflects to all here who live in the beauty all around. We are never alone. Grandmother Moon watches us in the night and Grandfather Sun watches us in the day. Creator holds all of this in the Sacred Hoop of life and light. It is the light that is given in love by Grandfather Sun to Grandmother Moon that holds this Sacred Earth or Mother between them in love and peace. Life is the reflection of all that is above us, and holds the creation of life between the love that Creator sends to all life here on this Mother Earth.
Between the two worlds we stand as in the reflection of Creation. The love that first brought light to the Earth Mother, in giving her the breath of life, is also the love that created the life that lives here in the image of Creator. To give light (birth) to the Earth is to give life to the Earth Mother. We all were given light and in time we will all give life. That which is above is reflected in that which is below; in the image of love we are all reflections of Creator. Whenever we are in doubt we must remember that nothing on this Earth is done without it being first created in the Great Mystery. There is a power, a vast wisdom, we can never in our human forms understand. In time Great mystery will unfold if you but look long and deep into the reflection of the water.
Copyright © 2007 by Grandmother Maka Nupa - Waynonaha Two Worlds - All publication rights reserved.
BETWEEN BOTH WORLDS
From: AlomQ'alom Ahau Tze'ec Balam
Mayan Indian Priest, Elder and Timekeeper of the Jaguar Clan.
"We are not humans trying to be spiritual. We are Spirit trying to be human".
"The dream time is the reality. All the rest is an illusion".
K'cux cizin ol cut a'k'tech 'inan Halach ol...Xata Zac Xata Amac...Our hearts radiate with your divine spirit who knows the awakened consciousness...Only May There Be Peace in Your Presence. Tze'ec
Between both realms, there is a reality that is not separate. Understand the fact that we make choices in everything we do in every moment. We exist in two realms. Ultimately we end up in the same place. In there is the living. In here is the living.
THE STRAWBERRY TEACHING
From: Grandmother Lillian Pitawanakwat
Thunderbird Eagle Woman (Ninkii BinessMijissi Kwe) of the Thunderbird clan
By Dianne Meili and
Before her death on Jan. 4, 2011, Lillian wrote out these comforting words for those left behind:
“I will be here in the West doorway, that is where I am today. I am that Thunder in the sky, I am the cleansing when you cry.”
A beloved Elder, Lillian devoted her life to renewing Ojibwe traditions and was a fluent speaker of her language as well as English and French Canadian. She was born into the Whitefish River First Nation in Ontario in 1944, and was the last of 12 children born to Moses, of the Potawatomi Nation, and Margaret Pitawanakwat, an Ojibway. Grandmother Lillian left a legacy of compassion and hope to all peoples. She graced our community here in the States in a way that will never be forgotten. Known to be somewhat of a 'rebel', Lillian made sure that all with an open heart were included and received the teachings never stopping to scrutinize or segregate in any way no matter their race color or creed. We all loved her for her vision, unification principals and courage. She was a true leader by example. After all Pipes were smoked out, with both hands Lillian would hold the bowl of strawberries up with honor and share the strawberry teaching story which we continue to do to this day...
"The strawberry teaching is a story of forgiveness and peace. The strawberry is shaped like a heart and strawberries are known to our people as heart berries. We were taught stories like these from a very early age. In the strawberry teaching we learn something about death and about the power of change and healing and that finding peace doesn’t necessarily come
from the head – it comes from the heart.”
A long time ago, there was a family that chose to no longer live in their village because of community feuding and ill will. This young family took their two little boys and said, “Let us go back into the forest, and we’ll let the trees nurture our children; we’ll let the birds sing songs to remind them of their own songs. And we’ll let the animals become their friends.” And so they packed up their little boys and went deep into the forest.
The father offered his tobacco, and asked the tree nation to give him a home. He was granted that gift and so he cut down the trees. He made a home for his family and they moved in. The boys grew tall and strong, and yet year after year they continued to play fight and wrestle. Finally when they were in their teens, their mother said to them, “It’s time for you to give up your childish ways.” And they said, “Okay mom, we won’t wrestle anymore.” But as soon as they were out of earshot from their mother, they said, “Let’s go deeper into the forest and we’ll build a wrestling ring for ourselves, so we can go out there any time we feel like it.” And so they did. They cleared some land and went there secretly, without their mother’s knowledge.
And then one fateful day the time came when the boys were wrestling and the older brother knocked his younger brother to the ground, where he hit his head on a rock and died instantly. The oldest brother was beside himself. He said, “Please, please wake up…… Mom and dad are going to kill me. Please, please answer me.” The only answer was silence. He cried and begged his brother: “Please, please.” Finally after a couple of hours, a voice told him: “Bury your brother.” And so he dug into the ground and put his brother there. He covered him up and ran home.
Out of breath, he ran to his parents: “Mom, Dad I’ve lost my brother in the forest – I can’t find him.” And, so the parents went out with him and they looked. They couldn’t find him anywhere. The father said, “I will go into the community, and seek out our relatives to come and help us form a search party so we can find him.” So they searched for ten days, and ten nights, and then they went into mourning after they couldn’t find their son.
But every day the brother would go to his little brother’s grave, and he would say, “Please, please tell me that you’re okay! Please!” And he would cry as he walked away, because he had no answer. And years went by. He carried this sadness into manhood because only he knew where his brother’s body lay.
After many years and visits to his grave, the elder brother saw a tiny plant. He watched it grow into a strawberry vine on top of his brother’s grave. Each day he watched the leaves grow and the berries come into fruition.
White heart-shaped berries appeared first. Then, over days, they transformed into big red delicious berries, luscious and sweet. As he contemplated them, a voice from inside him said, “Take a berry and eat it.” So he picked a berry and put it in his mouth.
As he ate it, he became aware, for the first time in his life, that he could taste the sweetness of life again. No more did he blame himself for his brother’s death, and no more did he blame his brother for not answering him. He no more blamed his parents for their strict upbringing. And, most of all, he no more blamed the Creator for taking his brother’s life. He was free. After all of the long years, he was finally free.
THE SEVEN FIRES PROPHECY
From: Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN
"We have to have one mind for the Four Directions. Until we reach that one mind, we cannot
be filled with understanding.... The Creator will not answer until you have just one mind, just
like if you have one person."
--Grandfather William Commanda, ALGONQUIN
Grandfather William Commanda returned to the Spirit world on Aug 3rd, 2011 just two days before the start of his annual gathering in Maniwaki, Quebec, Canada. He was 97 years old. Among the many accomplishments in his long life as a protector and defender of the land, Grandfather was the carrier and caretaker of the purple and white Seven Fires Wampum Belt which dates back to before the arrival of Columbus. Grandfather Commanda was an Algonquin Elder from Kitigan Zibi, [Maniwaki] Quebec. I remember him sharing his life story and the Wampum Belt to an audience of complete strangers during The Prayer Vigil For The Earth at The Mall in Washington, DC. Many of whom just happened to be walking by at that moment and were compelled to stop and listen. Grandfather handed the Belt to me to touch and hold. It was a moment in my life that I will never forget. Yet another amazing human being who excelled at leading by example and was deeply loved and respected by many. The source for The Seven Fires Prophecy story is The Mishomis book : the voice of the Ojibway by Edward Benton-Banai, Midewiwin Grand Chief. Printed in St. Paul, Minn. Published by Indian Country Press, copyright 1979.
Seven prophets came to the Anishinabe. They came at a time when the people were living a full and peaceful life on the North Eastern coast of North America. These prophets left the people with seven predictions of what the future would bring. Each of the prophecies was called a fire and each fire referred to a particular era of time that would come in the future. Thus, the teachings of the seven prophets are now called the "Seven Fires".
The first prophet said to the people,
"In the time of the First Fire, the Anishinabe nation will rise up and follow the sacred shell of the Midewiwin Lodge. The Midewiwin Lodge will serve as a rallying point for the people and its traditional ways will be the source of much strength. The Sacred Megis will lead the way to the chosen ground of the Anishinabe. You are to look for a turtle shaped island that is linked to the purification of the earth. You will find such an island at the beginning and end of your journey. There will be seven stopping places along the way. You will know the chosen ground has been reached when you come to a land where food grows on water. If you do not move you will be destroyed."
The second prophet told the people,
"You will know the Second Fire because at this time the nation will be camped by a large body of water. In this time the direction of the Sacred Shell will be lost. The Midewiwin will diminish in strength. A boy will be born to point the way back to the traditional ways. He will show the direction to the stepping stones to the future of the Anishinabe people."
The third prophet said to the people,
"In the Third Fire the Anishinabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the west to which they must move their families. This will be the land where food grounds on water."
The Fourth Fire was originally given to the people by two prophets. They come as one.
They told of the coming of the light skinned race.
One of the prophets said,
"You will know the future of our people by the face of the light skinned race wears. If they come wearing the face of brotherhood then there will come a time of wonderful change for generations to come. They will bring new knowledge and articles that can be joined with the knowledge of this country. In this way, two nations will join to make a mighty nation. This new nation will be joined by two more so that four will for the mightiest nation of all. You will know the face of the brotherhood if the light skinned race comes carrying no weapons, if they come bearing only their knowledge and a hand shake."
The other prophet said,
"Beware if the light skinned race comes wearing the face of death. You must be careful because the face of brotherhood and the face of death look very much alike. If they come carrying a weapon ... beware. If they come in suffering ... They could fool you. Their hearts may be filled with greed for the riches of this land. If they are indeed your brothers, let them prove it. Do not accept then in total trust. You shall know that the face they wear is one of death if the rivers run with poison and fish become unfit to eat. You shall know them by these many things."
The fifth prophet said,
"In the time of the Fifth Fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all native people. At the waring of this Fire there will come among the people one who holds a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the Fifth Fire will be will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people."
The prophet of the Sixth Fire said,
"In the time of the Sixth Fire it will be evident that the promise of the First Fire cam in in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children aways from the teachings of the Elders. Grandsons and granddaughters will turn against the Elders. In this way the Elders will lose their reason for living ... they will lose their purpose in life. At this time a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of may people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief."
At the time of these predictions, many people scoffed at the prophets. They then had medicines to keep away sickness. They were then healthy and happy as a people. These were the people who chose to stay behind in the great migration of the Anishinabe. These people were the first to have contact with the light skinned race. They would suffer most.
When the Fifth Fire came to pass, a great struggle did indeed grip the lives of all native people. The light skinned race launched a military attack on the Indian people throughout the country aimed at taking away their land and their independence as a free and sovereign people. It is now felt that the false promise that came at the end of the Fifth Fire was the materials and riches embodied in the way of life of the light skinned race. Those who abandoned the ancient ways and accepted this new promise were a big factor in causing the near destruction of the native people of this land.
When the Sixth Fire came to be, the words of the prophet rang true as children were taken away from the teachings of the Elders. The boarding school era of "civilizing" Indian children had begun. The Indian language and religion were taken from the children. The people started dying at a early age ... they had lost their will to live and their purpose in living.
In the confusing times of the Sixth Fire, it is said that a group of visionaries came among the Anishinabe. They gathered all the priests of the Midewiwin Lodge. They told the priests of the Midewiwin Way was in danger of being destroyed. They gathered all the sacred bundles. They gathered all the scrolls that recorded the ceremonies. All these things were placed in a hollowed out log from the Ironwood tree. Men were lowered over a cliff by long ropes. They dug a hole in the cliff and buried the log where no one could find it. Thus the teachings of the Elders were hidden out of sight but not out of memory. It is said that when the time came that the Indian people could practice their religion without fear a line boy would dream where the Ironwood log, full of sacred bundles and scrolls, was buried. He would lead his people to the place.
The seventh prophet that came to the people long ago said to be different from the other prophets. He was young and had a strange light in his eyes. He said,
"In the time of the Seventh Fire New People will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail. Their steps will take them to the Elders who they will ask to guide them on their journey. But many of the Elders will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the Elders will be silent because no one will ask anything of them. The New People will have to be careful in how they approach the Elders. The task of the New People will not be easy.
"If the New People will remain strong in their quest the Water Drum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a rebirth of the Anishinabe Nation and a rekindling of old flames. The Sacred Fire will again be lit.
"It is this time that the light skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal fire of peace, love brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of the roads, then the destruction which they brought with then in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth's people."
Traditional Mide people of Ojibway and people from other nations have interpreted the "two roads" that face the light skinned race as the road to technology and the other road to spiritualism. They feel that the road to technology represents a continuation of headlong rush to technological development. This is the road that has led to modern society, to a damaged a seared Earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction? The road to spirituality represents the slower path that traditional native people have traveled and are now seeking again. This Earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.
The prophet of the Fourth Fire spoke of a time when "two nations will join to make a mighty nation."
He was speaking of the coming of the light skinned race and the face of brotherhood that the light skinned Brother could be wearing. It is obvious from the history of this country that this was not the face worn by the light skinned race as a whole. That might nation spoken of in the Fourth Fire has never been formed.
If the Natural people of the Earth could just wear the face of brotherhood, we might be able to deliver our society from the road to destruction. Could we make the two roads that today represent two clashing world views come together to form a mighty nation? Could a Nation be formed that is guided by respect for all living things? Are we the people of the Seventh Fire?
SEVEN LIMBS OF PRACTICE
(Buddhist Teaching ~ Simplified)
Pay Homage to the Creator/Teacher by bowing, prostrating, or
remembering all of the good qualities about him/her. Remember,
these are qualities that you posses.
Offer the Creator/Teacher flowers, water, smudge, or imagined gifts like
the fields or a healthy environment, or anything that you can imagine.
Most of all, the supreme offering is your own diligent Spiritual practice...
Confess all transgressions that are non-virtuous, in body, speech and mind. Make strong a resolution not to do these again.
Rejoice in all the wonderful things that you have accomplished in life. Admire and rejoice in the same about others.
Request that the Creator/Teacher teach everyone according to their needs.
That the Creator Teacher not keep peace and contentment for himself/herself.
Dedicate the merit that the preceding limbs have generated to the spiritual goal of attaining enlightenment for the sake of all beings.
ROSE DIANA KHALSA
“ In these times of intense suffering and fear on the planet now, it is required of us to cultivate ways of dealing with loss. The doorway is through healing the heart and being open to service and compassion. When you help others who are also in pain, your own heart heals. My mantra for 2016 is “ Don’t worry, just pray.” And walk the road of loving kindness to yourself and others."
The Polarity Center and Shamanic Studies
Great Barrington, MASS
She is the ground we stand on.
She is the air we breath and food
We take in each day.
She is the Love that surrounds us,
Quantum Divine Love that sings
In every cell of our body, every
Atom, along with the song from the Great Mystery.
She is our Mother and she is calling us
To rediscover her and her Love and our rightful
Place here on her,
With her &
With all in the Sacred Web of Life.
Circle of Dawn © 2015-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Megwitch Thank you !
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin We are all related. All My Relations.
En Lak’ech I am another you.
Amahalach May your Journey be good and blessed by the Creator Maker.
Xata Zac Xata Amac Only may there be peace in your presence.
Yax Pax First Dawn - Grandmother Michelle
Circle of Dawn