Cherokee Legend of the Cedar Trees as shared by bear Medicinewalker

legend of the cedar


A long time ago when the Cherokee People were new upon the Earth, they decided that life would be much better if night time did not exist. They prayed and offered smoke to the Ouga (Creator) that daylight would stay all the time and darkens would no longer exist. Creator heard their voices and agreed to release Grandmother Moon and her blanket of nighttime from its task. Father Sun rose and stayed focused shedding light in the sky from that point on.

Soon, the forests grew and were thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the pathways from village to village, home to home. The people worked in the gardens hours at a time trying to keep the weeds pulled so they would not over grow and smother the corn and other food plants. It became extremely hot never letting up from day to day. Soon it became very difficult to sleep which caused the people to become restless, short tempered and to begin arguing over small and insignificant things.

Not many days had passed before the People came to realize that they had made a mistake. They began to pray to the Creator. “Please, we have made a mistake in asking for continuous sunlight. Now we think that perhaps it should be night all the time.”

The Creator pondered on what had been asked and thought about how all things had been created in two’s to keep the balance… day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. However Creator loved the people and decided to give them once again what they asked for. He asked Father Sun to rest and Grandmother Moon to return.

So from that point daytime ceased and nighttimes blanket fell upon the Earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent their time gathering wood for the fires trying to stay warm. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing soon people were cold, weak, and very hungry, and many of died.

Once again they gathered and prayed to the Creator. “Help us Creator, we have made a terrible mistake. What you once created was perfect and as it should be, from the beginning. Please forgive us and make the day and night as it was before.”

Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people and soon day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty of food and there was little illness. Once again the people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive.

The people gathered, thanking Creator for their lives and for all that was Sacred.

Creator accepted the gratitude, however, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator wanted the people to have a reminder of this time and the people that were lost. So Creator placed their Spirits in a newly created tree. And named the tree a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} or Cedar tree.

So when you smell the aroma of the Cedars or gaze upon them as they stand strong among the forests, remember you are looking upon our Ancestors, and offer them thanks and tobacco.

It is the belief to this day that the wood of the great Cedar tree holds the Spirits of the Ancestors. Many carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck. It is also placed above the entrances to the house to protect against the entry of evil spirits, even some of our traditional drums are made from the Great Cedars…the Spirits of our Ancestors.


bear Medicinewalker


Music by Wolfsheart

7 Replies to “Cherokee Legend of the Cedar Trees as shared by bear Medicinewalker”

  1. Thank you for this information that I did not know and come to think of it I have never seen a cedar tree but after this am going to try and find where they are and see one. I have learned a lot from this material that was written here
    Have a wonderful day

    1. Mig`wetch Laveerne! Blessings to you on this day and beyond.
      ~ bear Medicinewalker

  2. I have always enjoyed the fragrance of cedar wood, now I understand the spiritual connection. A’ho

    1. These are the Ancients of the forests… and so sacred! Mig`wetch for stopping in.
      ~ bear Medicinewalker

  3. bear Medicinewalker ….. thank you so much for your teaching. I will honor this within my spirit & remember it for when my young grandchildren grow, I will be able to share it with them. As my Wado to you I will remember you in my prayers as I speak them to Grandfather, our Creator along with holding your family/loved ones up as well. Wado my relation!

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