What is magic? A figment of your imagination? Superstition? Illusion? Folklore? Sleight of hand? Myth?
The Dead Horse Canyon series includes what one reviewer referred to as “a smidgen of the paranomal.” That undoubtedly refers to the main character, Charlie Littlewolf, seeking answers he can’t find anywhere else by returning to his Northern Cheyenne culture and the world of the Grandfather Spirits. Rituals involving the sweat lodge ceremony and sacred red pipe open up other dimensions that expand his consciousness. The indigenous belief in panpsychism, i.e. that everything has a form of consciousness, lays the foundation for a connection to all beings, including the Earth.
Of course, all of this defies the post-enlightenment view of the world:
If you can’t prove it using the scientific method in a laboratory, it’s not real.
Or is it?
If you’re a person who thinks, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” others will counsel you, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”
Entering such a world requires effort fueled by a huge dose of faith.
If you’re skeptical about psychic phenomena, something that’s been looked down upon by “rationale” people for hundreds of years, you might be interested to know that at least one scientist is investigating such things using the scientific method.
That man is Dr. Dean Radin and you can learn about some of his research and progress in this area in this video.
I’ve read two of his books, “The Conscious Universe” and “Entangled Minds” and am looking forward to his latest, “Real Magic.”
If you’re already a believer (or perhaps open-minded enough to entertain such a concept), then I recommend reading, “The Making of a Healer: Teachings of My Oneida Grandmother” by Russell FourEagles. He explains this world. It’s among my Top 5 “Life Changing” reads. Here’s what I said about it in my blog back in 2019:
I hardly know where to start expressing my impressions of this book. Let’s just say that it is clearly in my list of the Top Ten Most Influential Books I’ve ever read. I was actually sad when I finished it, yet know this is one of the few books that I will read many times.
Probably the most powerful message I received was the highly spiritual nature of indigenous American teachings. Interestingly enough, it comprised everything included in my own beliefs, which I’ve collected from various sources. These include organized religions, my own experiences, scientific research, meditation, as well as the teachings of various yogis and motivational speakers. It was clearly a revelation to find my own belief system, which I’ve assembled over a lifetime, expressed in a single book.
The philosophies expressed are nothing short of profound and beautiful. The respect for Mother Earth and all her creatures, including those of other cultures, is such a powerful concept that has been blatantly ignored by western cultures. Living in harmony is essential to our health and well-being. The concept of the “heart box” where we store and build up the various hurts, disappointments, and traumas of our lifetime rang true. The Oneida Fire Ceremony used to clear those issues is one I’d heard variations of before and it works.
Bottom line, we must live with an attitude of love, not fear. The author’s personal experiences illustrate these principles in a humble and powerful way, from being taught these things by his grandmother, to being a soldier in Vietnam, to becoming an inspired healer.
If you’re looking for some genuine inspiration that dates back hundreds, possibly thousands of years, then read this book. If you need to know what actions you can take to rid yourself of old issues lurking in your subconscious that you want to release, then read this book. If you want a touch of wisdom that has been lost, yet is exactly what the world needs today, then read this book.
I can’t praise it highly enough. If you’re looking for answers, it’s highly likely you will find them here. You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.
There’s an entire world out there that most people are oblivious to. That’s why the world is in the sorry state it is today. It’s time to listen to indigenous people who have known how to live correctly for thousands of years, yet been shoved aside as primitive savages by European settlers who thought they knew better.
Considering the present state of the world, clearly they were mistaken.
This morning a beautiful Lakota healing song showed up in my YouTube feed. I didn’t understand a word, but it brought tears to my eyes. If there was ever a time when many of us–the entire planet, actually– needs it, it is now.
It also had special meaning because it fits perfectly with a scene in book 2, “Return to Dead Horse Canyon: Grandfather Spirits.”
In Chapter 19, Leaping Elk, an Oglala Lakota medicine man, performs a healing ceremony for Charlie. You will meet Leaping Elk again in book 3. Here’s the excerpt:
BELTON MEDICAL CENTER
July 15, Sunday
Charlie sensed a presence. Opening his eyes failed. The soul-crushing weight remained, confirming he was alive, like amasani told him. Surely it didn’t hurt this much to be dead. Every breath filled his lungs with pain soaked in suffocating fire.
The realization someone was speaking in a grandfather voice stirred within his soul. The reverent, beseeching tone indicated prayer, but he couldn’t understand the words. Not Diné or Tsetsehestaestse, and certainly not English or Spanish.
Who was it?
Why was he there?
Mysteries and ceremonies came to men like Sweet Medicine from within the earth. Was that where he was?
Why else were some sounds muffled, others not? Though distinct, the man’s speech came as if from a great distance.
Perhaps he was within the earth. Swallowed by an angry Earth Mother.
The prayer ended and the man began to sing, accompanied by the rhythmic swish of a rattle. Even without understanding the language he recognized it as an honor song. Its healing effects settled upon him with an unexpected sense of peace.
The singing faded.
Again all was deathly still.
Here’s the song. Close your eyes and feel the words, even if you can’t understand them.
Some of the comments on YouTube explain the song is asking the Creator to have pity on us, that we understand our suffering is a vehicle to teach us something, and to please heal us.
There is so much to be learned from this beautiful culture. Teachings that we need today, more than ever before.
The Founding Fathers believed they created the perfect structure for government when they wrote the Constitution. But did you know that it was inspired by the Iroquois Federation, an agreement between indigenous nations hundreds of years before the white man arrived?
As the USA approaches its 246th birthday, things are not looking very good. Where have we gone wrong?
What better source of answers than a Native American? The video below narrated by Lakota, Russel Means, explains it perfectly.
This is the first book I read as research when I started the Dead Horse Canyon series. That was three years ago in January and I have learned so much since then. It opened my eyes to the fact that history books truly are written by the victors, often to justify horrific deeds, vilify the conquered, or pretend they never happened. Every American History book in print should have this one as an appendix, albeit “the rest of the story.” What follows is the review I wrote in January 2019. –MF
Great Speeches by Native Americans
Edited by Bob Blaisdell
Anyone who thinks they know American history needs to read this book. Those who don’t understand why the white men are hated also need to read it. In a nutshell, it’s a testimonial of exploitation, lies, and aggression, which has been the norm on the part of supposed “civilized” nations for millennia. Seeing indigenous people as inferior, savages, and uncivilized based on their lifestyle and thus treating them no better than animals has a sordid and long history.
This book chronicles the treatment of the Indigenous Americans from the first contact by the Pilgrims in the 1600s through the 20th century. The lies and aggression are nothing short of shameful and an embarrassment to any honest person. Those of us who grew up playing “cowboys and Indians” and watching similar TV shows were not seeing things as they really are.
In most cases, the Indigenous Americans only wanted peace. Some had the foresight to see the problems that were coming. They saw the land as sacred, given to them by The Great Spirit, and they treated Mother Earth with respect and gratitude. They may not have had the white man’s technology, but their societal norms were often far more advanced than “civilized” nations. The wholesale slaughter and exploitation of these people in the name of Christianity is a national disgrace.
Besides the actual slaughters, their children were often taken away, essentially kidnapped, and sent to boarding schools where their native culture was derided while they were indoctrinated with supposedly white civilization’s values. Their women were often sterilized without their knowledge. There is no doubt the intent was genocide.
If you think things have changed today, think again. Power and control by those with selfish and evil intent still prevails. Corporate power subdues the rights of individuals. Nothing has changed.
I cried more reading this book than any novel. It’s a very sad commentary on the foundation of the United States. These Native Americans were highly intelligent, moral individuals. In the vast majority of cases, they were only aggressive when they’d had enough of being lied to and could see the intent was their annihilation.
Read it. More people need their eyes opened to the truth that is our history and how it relates to what’s going on today.
Most people are familiar with the saying “To the victor go the spoils,” which includes writing (or rewriting) history books to justify defeating the enemy.
With that in mind, see how many of the following questions you can answer correctly.
1. True/False King Ferdinand was given permission to kill indigenous people or make them their slaves by the pope.
2. How many tribal nations have a formal nation-to-nation relationship with the U.S. Government?
3. How many federal and state-recognized American Indian reservations are there?
4. How many states have a recognized American Indian reservation?
5. True/False The Founding Fathers were sympathetic toward Native Americans and recognized their rights under the Declaration of Independence.
6. True/False The Declaration of Independence’s statement that “all men are created equal” included Native Americans.
7. What was the reason for the majority of U.S. Government – Indian wars?
a. White settlers occupying Indian land in violation of treaties
b. U.S. Government ignoring existing treaties due to westward expansion.
c. Loss of livelihood and hunting grounds to encroachment by white settlers.
d. All of the above
8. Indian people are categorized by culture and geography. Which of the following are NOT considered culture areas?
a. Arctic, subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau
b. Great Basin, California, Southwest, Mesoamerica
c. Great Plains, Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
d. None of the above
9. In the early 19th Century, Sequoyah, a Cherokee polymath from the Little Tennessee Valley created:
a. A list of treaty violations to present to the U.S. Congress
b. The allotment system to assign land to individuals
c. A syllabary of 86 ornate characters
10. Which of the following places are based on Native American names?
a. Allegheny, Alaska, Adirondack
b. Biloxi, Caddo, Chattanooga
c. Hatteras, Erie, Huron
d. Wyoming, Winnebago, Wichita
e. All of the above
1. True. The first papal bull issued for King Ferdinand in Spain after Columbus returned from the Caribbean stated: “All people of North America are no better than feral animals and may be slaughtered at will.”
And that bull was followed by another that accompanied the North American land grants: “All land grants will be governed by the same rules as the land grants in Spain, to which you have been accustomed. Thus, as usual, any people populating your land defined by the land grant here issued are your slaves.”
2. b. 567 tribal nations
3. c. 334 reservations
4. a. 35 states with reservations
5. False. George Washington was known as Town Destroyer in the Seneca language based on the decimated cornfields and razed villages he promoted. Thomas Jefferson as Governor of Virginia, ordered a war of extermination against the Shawnee.
6. Following that “created equal” statement it states “except the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
Yes, it really says that. The Natives were accused of being savages for defending their homeland while as one example, at Sand Creek the U.S. Army slaughtered innocent Native Americans who were literally flying the U.S. Flag with a white banner of surrender.
Custer did, indeed, have it coming.
I find it ironic that following WWII the U.S. was more than generous helping to rebuild war zones of former enemies in Germany and Japan, yet few promises made to this country’s original residents have been kept.
7. d. All of the above are reasons for the U.S. – Indian Wars.
The “Manifest Destiny” attitude of America’s early European explorers and subsequent settlers toward the country’s native population was overtly hostile. Land that was virtually stolen, deceptive treaties of which the Indigenous signers were not advised of their true content, and treaties to which both signatories agreed but Congress never ratified are but a part of the sordid tale.
Too many members of the Native population live in substandard conditions with many reservations comparable to a Third World Country and comprise some of the poorest counties in the United States. Yet now the government proposes giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to illegal aliens for being “inconvenienced.”
What’s wrong with this picture?
8. d. None of the above. All represent designated cultural areas.
9. c. A syllabary of 86 characters based on the sound of syllables in the Cherokee language
10. e. All of the above. Hundreds, more likely thousands, of places in the U.S. and Canada retain their Native American names.
SCORES BASED ON NUMBER CORRECT
9 – 10 Cheated or has a college degree in Native American History.
The suspense-laden sequel to triple award winning “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” is now available!
In honor of Native American Heritage Month both this new release as well as its predecessor, “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits,” are on sale in ebook format for only $0.99 through November 30, 2021.
If you’ve read the first book, no doubt you’ve been wondering what happens now that Charlie and Sara have discovered what her husband, Bryan, discovered that cost him his life.
While Charlie swore to avenge his white brother’s death, the path to do so remains unclear.
His job with Lone Star Operations allows him to use his college education and earn a generous income. However, it conflicts with everything he knows to be right. Is violating the Earth wrong or not? Little does he realize that his work will ultimately return him to the Northern Cheyenne reservation where his true destiny will manifest in ways he never imagined.
Sara is determined to fulfill Bryan’s last request to expose the government corruption coupled with the lethal forces that stole his life. Releasing the scandalous Top Secret data via WikiLeaks infuriates those with much to lose, which places her in the cross-hairs of a hired killer.
While miles apart, each struggles with life-threatening situations as a result of their dedication to Bryan’s legacy. Their lives remain entangled through a series of fateful decisions and circumstances that define a future fraught with unknowns for them both.
The books are available through the following links with more vendors to follow in the coming days. Remember that reviews are pure gold to authors and help other readers decide on whether a book is right for them.
The wisdom of indigenous people is something the world is in sorry need of today. There is nothing I can say that would have greater meaning on this day set aside to honor indigenous peoples throughout the world than what is said in the following video. Note that the speaker, Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman (Kangi Duta) crossed over to the next life in 2007. His words are truer now than ever before.
What we have done to our planet is shameful. The consequences will not be pretty.
Navajo (Diné) blankets and rugs are world-famous for their beauty and technique. Here are two videos that tell about them. The first one is a lovely montage with no narration, just restful Native American music in the background and the other is Wally Brown, a Diné elder, talking about his mother who was a weaver. Following that is an excerpt from Chapter 24 of “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” where the main character, Charlie Littlewolf, reminisces on when he helped his amasani (Diné for grandmother) weave a very special blanket.
RURAL FALCON RIDGE
June 9, Saturday
Charlie sat cross-legged in front of the fireplace, wool blanket draped around his shoulders. In two days he’d start work with Lone Star Operations.
Was there any other way he could make that kind of money?
No. Absolutely not.
The prospect, however, shadowed his mind like a storm front. In response a random thought tickled his psyche.
This is something you must do.
The justification, however, remained buried beneath any conscious awareness.
Besides the industry itself, what concerned him most was the thought of living with those people. Like when he left for college.
Harassment stories along with the racist views that characterized the industry constituted modern tales of cowboys and Indians. Working with them all day would be bad enough. But bunking with them as well? He didn’t want to think about the pranks he’d be subjected to.
He pulled the wrap closer, fingers entwined in its soft texture. June or not, nights were brisk at seven thousand feet. Its earthy scent, including a hint of lanolin, unfurled memories of three decades past, when he was living on the Diné reservation in New Mexico.
His very first job.
An assignment he resented.
He could still see Littlebear leaning against the horse corral, arms folded across his chest.
“No, son,” he’d said. “You have only six winters. You are too young for the javelina hunt. You must stay and help your mother and amasani.”
Charlie hung his head, thinking he’d sneak away somewhere for the remainder of the day.
“Look at me,” his father commanded. When he obeyed, his intent collided with the probing eyes of a knowing parent. “When I return you will tell me what you did and they will tell me if you did it well.”
He pouted, looking back at the ground. Not hunting with his father was disappointing enough. That edict made it even worse. The teasing he’d suffer from his cousins and friends for doing the work of squaws would be merciless.
Moccasins shuffling in the dirt, he trudged back home to find his mother. As soon as he stepped inside their hogan she took one look at his sour face and shooed him away.
Outside again, he stifled a smile, vindicated to pursue his original plan. Then he remembered. His work was subject to review. His grandmother, one of the tribe’s weavers, was his other option. He’d watched her work a few times, but progress was slow and tedious—far too boring to hold his interest for any length of time. With luck, she wouldn’t be busy and would tell him one of her wonderful stories. He especially liked those about mischievous coyote.
But when he got to her little house, she wasn’t there.
It sounded like a big commotion over by the training corral. Sheep bleating along with people talking and a variety of other unfamiliar sounds. Curiosity tickled, he headed that way.
The characteristic smell of sheep was strong with so many confined to a small area. That, along with all the dust, evoked a giant sneeze. He wiped his nose on his sleeve, then climbed up on the fence to watch the antics of one of the lambs. That held his attention until he spotted his grandmother a short distance away.
What was she doing, poking around what looked like dozens of flat, dead sheep?
Then it a registered: Shearing time.
He watched one of the men use clippers to peel away a year’s worth of wool from one of the ewes. It came off in what looked like a solid piece. His grandmother spotted him and waved him over.
Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.
“I’m supposed to help you today, amasani,” he said.
Her weathered face, round like the moon and likewise bearing the grooves and craters of life, broke into a broad smile. “I’m so glad, grandson. What think you of all this wool?”
“I think it smells funny.”
“I like it,” she replied. “Sheep are almost as important now as buffalo were long ago. They give us meat and they give us wool. This is one of my favorite days, when I pick the fleeces I want before the rest go to market.”
“Aren’t they all the same?”
“No. Each is very different. Certain parts are better than others, too.” She took his little hand and led him over to those she’d set aside. “Let me show you.”
She pointed out the different parts of the animal from which the fleece was removed. Some areas were much cleaner and the fiber longer.
“I have a very special project I must do. I need you to separate the shoulder section from the ones I’ve chosen. Do you know why?”
He looked closer. “Because it is cleaner?”
“Yes. It is also the longest, which makes it easier to spin.”
That task finished, he thought he was done. Little did he realize his work had only begun. The raw wool needed to be prepared for spinning. She showed him how to tease each lock by pulling it apart.
His reverie paused as he rubbed his thumb and forefinger together, remembering how they squeaked when coated with lanolin. To his surprise back then, it also softened the callouses he’d earned practicing with his bow.
Next came combing the teased wool with a pair of carders that looked like giant-sized dog brushes. The resulting bats went into a reed basket, miniature clouds of fluff awaiting his grandmother’s skilled hand.
As the day wore on, his arms ached and he couldn’t card quickly enough to keep up with her spinning. She prodded him to work faster, her hand moving the spindle relentlessly as she twisted the prepared fiber into yarn.
As it turned out, the project lasted into summer. By then he earned her name for him, Naalnish. Once enough yarn was spun, the fun began. Now he could do some exploring while he gathered the dye materials needed to produce a variety of warm colors. Best of all, the collection process for some required a knife or ax, a worthy task for a young brave.
Cottonwood leaves, yarrow, and oak bark were some of the things she requested. Among the most challenging were cochineal beetles which, when dried and ground into powder, yielded shades of red. It took an entire day or more to collect enough from their cactus homes for a single batch. To both him and his amasani, however, it was time well-spent.
When shewas ready to start the dyeing process, he hauled water from either the iron-rich spring north of their village for reds, or the alum-rich one to the east for yellows. The resident minerals affected the final hue and were necessary for the fiber to retain its color—the ‘”why” of which planted the seed for his interest in chemistry.
When she had sufficient dyed yarn, he helped warp the loom constructed from tree trunks, tie the warp rods that helped create the pattern, then wind the different colors on smooth sticks that served as shuttles.
Then, at last, weaving began.
He marveled day by day as she lifted the warp rods and alternated shuttles, colorful geometric patterns emerging with each row, until their collective labors produced a finished blanket that was not only functional, but a work of art.
His heart swelled as he remembered the day it came off the loom. She folded it carefully, hugged it a moment, then handed it to him with a sparkle in her eyes.
“Where should I put it for you, amasani?”
“In your hogan, Naalnish. By where you sleep.”
“Because it is yours.”
Only now, as a grown man, did he appreciate the love and wisdom of that experience. Especially when he discovered that most blankets, at least those offered for sale by members of the tribe, were not made the old way, but with commercial dye and machine-spun yarn.
This was one like none other, made expressly for him with his amasani’s love and his reluctant assistance.
It was far more than the work itself. It was what it taught him. Not only about the old ways, but of cycles. Of going full circle from the vegetation the sheep ate to grow wool to dyeing the yarn with some of those same plants. The process was tedious and long, yet the result was priceless.
From that first bat of carded wool to its liberation from the loom, it instructed him in the ways of life. It taught him patience, perseverance, and appreciation—for hard work and simple things.
The Diné believed part of their soul went into such creations and always hid a loop somewhere in the tight weave for their soul to escape. So far, it was so cleverly hidden he’d never found it. His fingers caressed the soft fiber, wondering if he ever would. It felt softer each year, improving with use, unlike so many things that didn’t last. Analogous to the earth itself and his connection to it.
All thanks to the wisdom of an old woman, who at the time was not much older than he was now. Whose kind heart would forever live in a cherished wrap that kept him warm for what would soon be thirty haigos, including many spent in the frigid Colorado Rockies.
How many white men had such a treasured possession?
If there’s one thing most of us need it’s an occasional sign that we’re heading in the right direction. One thing indigenous people have that most others don’t is a deep connection with nature, which talks to them on a regular basis.
Yes, I’m talking about spirit animals and receiving messages from them.
This morning when I went outside to feed my feral cats this beautiful spider web caught my eye. The fact it was on my deck furniture was slightly less than enchanting, but the perfection of the spider’s handiwork got my attention, especially the way it glistened in the rising sun.
In many cases, if you’re paying attention, you can figure out such a message yourself by considering the animal and its characteristics. At other times, it might be more subtle. In that case, you need a reference of some description to help you figure out what the natural world is trying to tell you.
Fortunately, I have such a reference, the book “Animal Messengers: An A – Z Guide to Signs and Omens in the Natural World.”
Here’s a excerpt from what it says about spiders: “The spider symbolizes infinite possibilities. With its eight legs it is anchored in every direction, and it weaves together the powers of the elements and their expression into a unified whole. The spider weaves webs of fate, in which we can get caught, and it encourages us to keep searching for new possibilities and explore the endless steps of our journey of learning. If your attention is drawn to a spider it wants to remind you that you are constantly building new webs with your own thoughts, feelings, actions, and visions that contain tasks you must solve and subjects you must deal with.”
As is always the case with such an encounter, this had a very personal meaning to me.
If you’re not listening to what nature is telling you, you’re missing out. If you need a little help discerning what an animal is trying to say, I highly recommend this book by Regula Meyer. Note that it does not contain exotic animals you might see in a zoo, but concentrates on those you’re likely to see in the wild including mammals, birds, invertebrates, and insects, for a total of 145 different animals. It was originally written in German, so some birds common to the United States such as cardinals are not included, either, but overall it’s very insightful. It’s available at Amazon via this affiliate link.
This book is a masterful work of art in addition to containing a collection of personal experiences from members of several different tribes. These include Navajo, Mi’kmaq, Abenaki, Seneca, Cherokee, Tarahumara, Maya, Olmec, Yaqui, Creek, and Choctaw.
Though testimonials about UFO encounters are included, the majority of the book is on a more spiritual level, dealing with other types of connections with the Star People. These include the importance of ceremony, previous lost civilizations from millennia ago, high technology in the distant past, the origin of indigenous people, and prophecies of the future, which is upon us now.
The book has been around a while, the original copyright in 2000, then renewed in 2012. In today’s world that’s a long time and many things prophesied that may not yet have occurred by either of those dates have by now.
I think my favorite section was “We Wander This World with a Purpose” by Mali Keating. She spoke of the Hopi, where they came from, and their numerous prophecies. Here’s an excerpt of one section that explained so much about our modern world.
“The Anasazi were a people left over from the migration. The people were told they must never stop and build cities, but of course some did…. Cities make people crazy, as we all know. People become greedy and lose the ability to work together.”
Here’s another, that may not have been as apparent when this book was first released as it is now:
“The Hopi said that they would know that the end is coming when roads crisscrossed this continent like the web of a spider–those are the vapor trails of airplanes. You can see vapor trails like the webs of spiders in the sky.”
Actually, roads on which we drive crisscross the continent, too. Those trails in the sky, however, are not vapor trails, they are called chemtrails. Vapor trails are condensation from normal airplanes whereas chemtrails are chemicals such as barium and aluminum being deliberately sprayed in the atmosphere to supposedly combat climate change. This, like so much else out there today, is a lie. If anything, they are causing the climate to go crazy by facilitating weather manipulation.
There are numerous photos of indigenous art and the layout of the book itself is genius, between Nancy Red Star’s commentaries before each entry to her free verse poetry at the conclusion. Reading these stories is not just informative, it’s an experience of another realm beyond what meets the eyes.
A realm that Native Americans and all indigenous people understand.
May we all learn from their ancient wisdom before it’s too late.