Spiritlands as shared by bear Medicinewalker

spiritlands 2014

Many lifetimes ago lived a young warrior whose bride died on the eve of their wedding ceremony. Her death
left a deep hole in this great warrior and the young man inconsolable. He was unable to eat or sleep. He
didn’t want to hunt pr participate with the tribe. You could find him simply sitting at the grave of his bride,

On a particular day he overheard some elders speaking about the path to
the spirit world. He carefully listened and memorized the directions to
the most minute detail. He had heard that the spirit world was far to
the south, so immediately he headed out on his journey. Several weeks
passed and he still saw no change to the earths ground to indicate that
the spirit world was near.

Finally he walked from the edge of the forest and saw the most beautiful plain he had ever seen. In the
distance was a small structure where an ancient Shaman lived who was a gate keeper to the realms. The
Warrior approached the Shaman asking for directions. The old Shaman knew exactly who this young warrior
was and whom he sought. He knew that his bride had passed by only a day
before, and in order to follow her, the Warrior would have to leave his
body behind and walk forward in his spirit form. The spirit world itself
could only be reached by crossing a large lake by canoes waiting on
this shore. However, the old Shaman warned him not to speak to his bride
until they were both safely on the island of the spirits.

Soon the Shaman recited some ancient chants and the Warrior felt his spirit leave his earthly form. Now
walking in spirit form, sitting along the shore sat a birch bark canoe that waited for their passage. Not a
stone’s throw away was his bride, entering her own canoe. As he made his
way across the water and looked at her, he saw that she duplicated his
every stroke. Why didn’t they travel together? And the Shaman’s voice
could be heard echoing across the waters, “A soul can only enter the
spirit world alone and be judged upon on their own life’s choices.”

Midway through the journey, a great storm rose on the great lake. It tossed and churned in a way the young
Warrior had never seen. Some of the spirits in canoes could be seen being swept away by the storm. There
lives proving them to be unworthy of the Spirit Land. Since both the young Warrior and his bride were good
people, they made it through the storms violence easily and soon the water calmed and rested and looked like
glass beneath a brightly lit sky.

The Spirit Land is a beautiful place where it is always blooming with vibrant colored flowers and cloudless
skies, never too warm or too cold. The young Warrior reached out to his bride on the shore gently taking her
hand in his. They had not walked ten steps together when Creator quietly spoke to them. He told them that
the young Warrior must return as he came, for it was not his time to be at the Spirit Lands yet. He was
instructed to carefully trace his steps back to his body, step back into it and then return homelands. He
listened to Creator’s words walking back towards his home. He did so joyfully and in his lifetime became a
great chief, holding in his heart that he would see his bride once again and they would reunite in the Spirit
Lands when time was to be.

 

Mitakye O’yasin

bear Medicinewalker

The Haunted Ûñ’tiguhï – the Haunted Whirlpools as told by bear Medicinewalker

haunted whirlpools

 

At the mouth of Suck creek, on the Tennessee, about 8 miles below Chattanooga, is a series of dangerous whirlpools which is the reason it is known as “The Suck,” and noted among the Cherokee as the place where a gambler or Ûñtsaiyï’, lived many moons ago.

The Pools are called “Pot-in-the-water,” or Ûñ’tiguhï’ in Cherokee, for their surging, rolling waters suggest a boiling pot on a fire. It is said that long ago, the whirlpools moved and changed, so that the canoes attempting to pass the spot used stay close to the banks, having to keep watchful of the waters and the possible eruptions, slowing as the water would swirl savagely, pausing until they would once again quiet before attempting to travel the waterway.

On a particular day two men traveling the river in a canoe, as they neared the place of swirling waters rapidly approaching ahead of them. They pulled up to the side banks to wait until it once again calmed. Yet instead they were pulled into the whirlpool as it grew in wider and wider circles, until they were drawn into the strong pull of the vortex.

Tossing them from the canoe they were carried down under the water, where one of the men was grabbed by a great fish and was never seen again. The other was spun around and round and pulled down to the very bottom of the rushing whirlpool, when another circle grabbed at him and pushing outward and upward until he surfaced and floated out into the shallow water, and he slowly made his way to shore.

Afterword he spoke of what had happened to him, he said that when he was forced into the center of the water underneath the surface, it opened below him and he saw through the roof beams of a house. At the bottom of the river was a large group of people. They all looked up and called to him to join them, but as they reached up to pull him into the house, the fast current caught him and took him out of their reach.

It is said that these Spirits are that of our Ancestors who met with tragic ends as they attempted to guard our lands, still reside there today keeping watch over all those that try to steal the lands and cause others harm. So don’t venture too close to the waters edge or you might fall fate and get pulled to the depths of the Ûñ’tiguhï’…and become part of the family that resides there.

~ bear Medicinewalker

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It’s called Life!

It’s called Life!

Because I am not with you every second of the day…does not mean you are not in my heart always… because I remain silent doesn’t not mean I do not understand…because I walk my path does not mean I will not share it with you, or be happy to walk with you on yours…

I will always walk with you and assist… But I can not walk for you…

I will always take care of you…but sometimes I am the one that needs care.

I would do all for you…but that too requires balance and sometimes it means others need to put efforts into that sacred balance … My thought is that we are strong enough to compliment each other and yet strengthen and help balance each others weaknesses…so they no longer are weakness.

That is the Journey… that is why we are all here…it is called Life

Blessings …Mitakuye O’yasin
~ bear

bearmedicinewalker2014

Robin Willams, a Gift to Us All

Robin Willams...a Gift to Us All

Reality, What a Concept!

This morning when I crawled from bed, the first thought I had in my mind was sorrow, sorrow at the loss of Robin Williams. I guess I am a little confounded at the fact he is been with my thoughts all week. Yet considering he has been part of our lives for so long, I realize now how far he crept into my heart.

When I got onto the computer this morning however I saw a clip of Jimmy Fallon, the Tonight Show paying tribute to Robin. I sat and sobbed, not so much for the fact that he was gone… rather for the fact that a human being such as Robin could feel that empty…that lost…that alone, and still have given so much of himself to the world simply to make us laugh and smile, to help us forget the pain of every day life.

To me his mind was not of this time, never has been and yet it attempted for a long while to slow down and adapt to the now, containing so much knowledge, just as his heart felt so much emotion. That kind of intelligence was priceless but takes a special kind of person to carry it, and he was that kind of person.

I did not know him personally, but no matter who we are Robin Williams managed to reach deep within our souls as if we were the only person he was there for. So this tragic day also hit home with me because 25 years ago my sister passed from cancer. Perhaps that is why the day and the event is so sharp for me, I am unsure. I know that they are on the next part of the journey, and I have this picture in my head of Robin standing in front of god with his hands held together in front of him and that quirky look he would get, saying, “Hey Big Guy… did you hear the one about the Rabbi and the Nun…?

I love you Robin Williams and I hope you have the peace and laughter in your heart that you gave to so many while you walked the Human. I will continue to hold your family and friends in my prayers and perhaps one day I will meet you on the other side but for now… stay well Sweet Prince.

Many Blessings to all,

~ bear Medicinewalker

RWjoke_trouble

bear Medicinewalker “A Simple Fishing Trip to Reconnect…”

A Simple Fishing Trip to Reconnect...

Sometimes…life is about the everyday things that happen to us…and we only realize that when we stop and take a moment to breathe it all in…

With the cool air of the Fall Winds knocking on our doors, I decided to head to the river to reconnect and ground with Creator and All that is Sacred. Needing some human solitude and taking the time to watch the hawks and eagles play on the air currents above me as I fished below them on the Ausable River.

Tossing my fishing poles and tackle into the back of the truck, I started the engine. Now mind you it is running, but sounds like a stock car at a NASCAR race, so sneaking off or in anywhere is not an easy thing to accomplish by any means, but to the river I headed determined to get even closer to life in a simple way.

Arriving at the river out at one of the dams, all one has to do is take a deep breath in to understand what I mean about the reconnection to All that is Sacred. The smell is fresh, it is water, it is air, it is the grandmother and grandfather trees that tower over the rivers edge from long ago, it is the sweetgrass along the edges of those very trees and water, it is the warmth of the sun on your face that sets all your nerve endings tingling and yelling how good it is to be alive.

Grabbing the gear I set out to the rivers edge only to realize today I was not to be alone. There was two older gentlemen fishing at one end of the dock and at the boat launch a short distance away was a gal with her boyfriend that were around the same age as I am. They all looked up as I walked into the shared area and I nodded and waved in acknowledgement. I had hopes for a quiet morning so I set about fiddling with my fishing poles. However Creator had other things in mind.

Not five minutes after I put my line into the water, one of the older gentlemen decided to walk over to where I was. I looked up and smiled, but said nothing. Soon he was telling me about his friend that he was with, his best friend in life. They had been friends since they were both 7 years old and had lived through everything life had to throw at them all these years. “More like brothers,” he said to me, “been coming up this way for over 70 years just to reset our clocks.” He then reached in his pocket and pulled out his new dang gummed new fangled phone (which I totally share his sentiments at some of the technology out there) to show me some of his photos of his friends and family as they have fished this year and what they had all caught. Quickly reminding me it is all in the angle you take the picture to make the fish look bigger.

They left gathering their things shortly after that, but before going up the path toward their truck, they wished me a good day looking at each other with a big grin and saying how important it was for them to be here and reconnect with nature, to take time to remember what is important in life. After they left I settled back in to being in my own little world… which lasted all of three seconds.

“Omg, I got one… I got one…” the woman just a short distance away yelled, “I need help getting the hook out.” Her boyfriend down a little further yelled back at her saying his pliers were in the truck. I grabbed my hemostats and walked over and handed them to her. She thanked me and I once again went about my business. Next thing I know her boyfriend walks over and starts talking all things fishing and hunting with me. He is a big burly gentle guy…with a quick smile and a big heart. His girlfriend was laughing and told me she hadn’t been fishing in years. They were having fun… catching sunfish and some bass but hey had to leave to head back down state. They said how they didn’t want to leave the area to go back to work and life, how refreshing it was to just be in that moment with nature. Not long after, they to head out thanking me, for what I am not sure, but waving as they headed out. Being invisible for a bear is sometimes hard thing to do, but that is okay for everything for a reason. So I was then left to my own human devices to fish and soak in all that is around me for the next few hours.

A storm was heading in, I could both smell and feel it so I packed up to head back to my little lake. As I started the truck I was thinking to myself that it would be so great to be able to just step through time to younger years that I spent here in the woods at the river, listening to Billy Joel, rod Stewart, Aretha some Motown and oh yes a little Doobie Brothers on the truck radio. So I turned the radio on, and low and behold I got just that… not sure how that worked but apparently we have a request line directly to those that are in the know.

So I stepped through time with a little help from above and drove the short 15 miles back to my home. Watching out the windows everything seemed brighter more colorful, the wildflowers on the side of the road were gently rocking in the breeze to the music as if saying all is good bear all is good. As I took a turn I could smell the sweetgrass, the incoming rain and the cedar trees as they waved as I drove by. Childhood memories, people who have walked through my life, events of my life all played as a movie in my minds thoughts. Reconnecting me the entire time to what is important.

Arriving back at the house the rain began to fall…I looked back up at the sky and thanked the Creator for all that is Sacred, for the stories that were shared with me that day and for guiding me to taking the time to remember.

So my wish for you all, is to take time from your busy lives to reconnect with life, each other and to All that is Sacred. For it is what is truly important.

Blessings,

bear Medicinewalker

The Gift of a Name …by bear Medicinewalker

gift of a name

Native American naming traditions date back to our Ancestors. They are often similar but the customs sometimes were slightly different tribe to tribe. The names would often be inspired by nature itself, whether it was the Winged Ones, the Four Leggeds, the Elementals, or an event that was taking place at the time of birth.

Tribes place great power to their names only using them during times of ceremony or special events, and not using that name to refer to people at any other time. (Thus calling them Mother, Father, Son etc. in place of that name.) Some tribes what is called a “naming trail” when a child is given one name at birth and later on in life is given another through Vision Quests, from a Tribal Elder then even farther into the earth walk a name that represents their life. It is even shared that Chief Sitting Bull was called “Jumping Badger” as a young boy, and nicknamed “Slow Jumping Badger ” because of the extra time he took in doing things.

The Cherokee often took no surname until around the time of the Civil War. If they served during that war the army required two names and either “gave” them a name or they chose one for themselves.

In today’s world we often name our children for people who are related/not related to show respect or to remind us of how special someone was in our own lives.

Why you might ask am I writing about this today? Well it is because someone asked me the other day to tell them how I received my name…my Native American name. So I thought I would share it with you all as well.

For a good number of years I worked at Detroit’s Children’s Hospital in Michigan as a Decentral Tech in the I.C.U., Hemoc and Cardiac units for the most part. One year we had a young man who was 13 years old, entered the ICU on a Sunday afternoon as a critical patient due to a car accident. He had been a passenger in the rear drivers’ side of the car, a car which had been struck by a drunk driver. His injuries were severe and he was placed on life support. As I came to know the family over the next months, I learned more of my culture and a whole lot about Faith and the Medicine way of the Native American Ancestors. The family was old school, living the “Red Road” the way our Ancestor’s did, and the way that we should as we each walk this earth today and forward. For me those months were transforming and humbling.

After 5 months in the I.C.U. and countless brain activity scans, the medical world felt it was time to remove the life support systems. His Grandfather thought otherwise, and while they fought with the red tape, he continued to practice traditional customs and prayers, all of which I came to be part of without even realizing. I had unknowingly become a warrior for this young man.

Working afternoons I often would complete my required work and then would be able to assist in whatever way the unit needed me to. For this family I came to assist being mediator for herbal remedies and topicals that were being used by the grandfather on his grandson. We had many long talks, and we had both come to agree that the boy was between worlds. It was the Creator’s way of allowing him to heal. For that to continue to occur, everyone needed to have that same Faith that he would awaken from the coma when the time was right. During the 6 month in ICU the time was right. He awoke much to the medical staff’s disbelief…he indeed awoke. I recall looking over at his grandfather when it happened, the twinkle that lit his eyes and the smile that he and I shared with each other. Words were not needed. Within a couple weeks he was moved to the rehab floor.

A few more months went by and I had lost touch with the family since they were not on the units I worked, until one afternoon I ran into the young man’s grandfather in the elevator. We smiled and hugged each other. When the elevator arrived at the floor he was getting off on he reached over and took my hand in his, he asked me to come with him for a moment. So we got out together and walked the halls, he stopped at the door to one of the rooms and said he had someone he wanted me to meet.

As we stepped into the room I saw a typical teen sitting on the edge of the bed rough housing with his little brother, laughing with delight. The Detroit Tigers baseball game was playing in the background. It was a family…and a happy Sunday afternoon, much different from so many months ago when I had first met them all. I stayed for a few minutes and excused myself to return to work. The Grandfather walked out with me and asked if I would be able to return the next day, for he said he had one more thing he wanted to share with me before they left. I agreed and went back to work promising I would return the next day.

When I got there the following day, I never expected what happened. They all had a part of their traditional regalia on, and as a way of thanking me the grandfather (who I found out that day was a medicine man himself), honored me by bestowing me with a name. I was also now part of the family… he named me “Medicinewalker” telling me that it was for the fact I walked with the right medicine spiritually and physically in this world and beyond. I will never forget that day…that family…or the Elder that shared so many teachings with me. it was a true gift.

So when you read a name from history, or hear someone speak a name out loud, no matter what culture, race or religion, take a moment to understand that there is reason, respect, and above all else a story behind it. So with that said….Honor it no matter how strange you may think it is, for it was a gift that is as unique as the individual that carries it.

Mitakuye O’yasin

~ bear Medicinewalker

 

A Cherokee Story of the Great Blue Heron… as shared by bear Medicinewalker

blue heron little people

The Wolf fondly calls them Oscar’s…but they are known far and wide as the Great Blue Herons. They visit me here at the lake and I am often astounded at how patient they are at fishing for their suppers. They will take steps so carefully you never actually can see their legs move at times as they stand stoically watching at the waters edge. This is a story I was told long ago, and realized I had never ’til now shared it with you all. It also involves shhhh now don’t say it out loud unless you leave them a gift outside today…the Cherokee Little People…

The Cherokee Little People live among us, in gardens, lush forests and woods, along our marshes. They live in harmony with nature. Enjoying life, the Cherokee Little People love to play and laugh interacting with each other and sometimes the world around them. Every now and then however they do get bothered by occasional Winged Ones (birds) who can play havoc on village life. Because most often the Winged Ones (birds) are larger than the Little People and it causes them to worry that they might be mistaken for food.

One day in the day of our Ancestors, a Cherokee Hunter, whose name has long been forgotten, shared a gift with the Little People. He taught them how to craft little bows and arrows in order to defend themselves against birds and creatures of the outside world that meant them harm. They were very grateful to this friendly hunter and honored him with a great feast! Over the next hundred years the Cherokee Little People lived next to the marshes through out the countryside in harmony with the world around them.

One day a flock of Blue Herons came. The long legs of the Heron caused the arrows to fall short and they did not scare the Great Blue Herons away. The long beaks of the Great Blue Heron frightened the women and children and they fled, screaming into their homes at the sides of the marsh.
However the tiny warriors stood their ground facing their fears they held for these enormous creatures. The Great Spirit looked with admiration at how these Little Men were facing the challenge so bravely and using the skills they had been taught so long ago. So a punishment was chosen for Blue Heron as a result that they had terrorized the great nation of the Cherokee Little People.

This is the reason why the Blue Heron feeds alone and is never seen in flocks to this day. So as the Great Blue Heron steps into our lives it brings with it messages of self-reflection, and as it has to feed alone…so must we take the time for self in order to face fears, understand and use our gifts that we possess for the highest good, and be in harmony with our world for all is Sacred.

Heron medicine teaches us about the power of knowing ourselves so that we can discover our gifts and face life’s challenges. That we begin learning to accept all of our feelings and opinions, and accepting all the emotions and thoughts that accompany them. It is about following our intuition and taking that empowering step into self-realization.

This Sacred Water bird shares with us to not blame others or point a negative finger at the situations of life, instead claim responsibility for our own actions and to face the enemy within us all. Find a balance in our inner truths, work on our inner weaknesses, and develop the strengths needed to understand what it is we need to feed our own spiritual being. .

Mitakuye O’yasin (We are All Related)
~bear Medicinewalker

GreatBlueHeron

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