American Indian Treatments For The Body

modern treatments 300x199 American Indian Treatments For The Body For several years now, I’ve talked to you about the totems for our spiritual growth and healing and I hope that in some small way those explanations have been helpful and will continue to be. Along with making sure that our inner being is healthy we also need to make sure that our physical bodies are strong and well enough to provide the best vessel to house our inner soul. This is something that the First Peoples of North America understood very well. So, for the next several weeks and months I will be introducing different plants that can assist us in keeping our bodies in better shape.

I am not a physician nor a certified herbalist but I can share the information that I have about different plants and herbs that are known to help with stress, colds, wounds and other ailments. I do ask you to use caution whenever you decide to try one of the remedies that I will be describing. It is always best for us to consult our physician before trying many non-prescription products. This is extremely important if you have a heart condition, allergies or are pregnant or are breast feeding an infant. I will let you know if there are known issues with the plants and treatments that I will be sharing with you in each individual post in the coming months and just ask that you use your due diligence in figuring out if it is a good treatment for you to try.

In many cases these treatments and remedies have been backed up, at least in part, by the medical and scientific communities. When we contemplate the centuries that the Native American peoples as a whole knew the different plants that would be “good medicine” not just for the soul but for the body we should stand in awe. Here was a people who were thought to be so primitive and uneducated and yet their knowledge of nature as a whole is remarkable. Obviously this knowledge didn’t occur overnight, it took hundreds of years of trial and error to figure out that a dandelion plant could be so helpful in healing the body for different maladies. With no written books to consult the shamans and medicine people of the different tribal traditions discovered what worked and passed it on to the next generation and even sometimes with other tribes of the own generation.

coneflower 225x300 American Indian Treatments For The Body As the Europeans began making contact with the natives of our continent, they were blown away with how much the people who they looked at as savages understood about medicines and illness. The Indians taught the newcomers much when it came to natural pharmaceuticals that could be used to ease pain, aid in healing and calm the body when under stress and anxiety.

I look forward to sharing this information with you in the coming weeks and hope that if there are plants that you would like to know more about or ones that you have tried that you will share them with us in the comment section.

At least a portion of 2015 will be dedicated to healing our physical bodies while we continue to grow our spiritual bodies.

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Is The Kestrel Totem Working With You?

Meanings of the Kestrel Totem

kestrel totem 300x200 Is The Kestrel Totem Working With You?
I have a dear friend who obviously has the kestrel totem in her life right now and I thought it might be a good idea to discuss the meaning of this animal spirit here on my blog so that others would benefit from the knowledge from this interesting creature teacher. When my friend first ask me if we had kestrels here in the US, I thought that we might but I didn’t think that we had any near where I live. Oh my goodness was I wrong! You see, she lives across that big pond known as the Atlantic ocean and I thought that these birds of prey might be more prevalent in her area than in mine. The ones that she sees are known as the Common Kestrel and are slightly different than those found on the North American continent. The totem meanings and lessons are the same, though. Remember, we are all connected!

A few facts about the Kestrel

Before we can truly understand the lessons that any spirit animal wants to share with us; we need to know a little about the animal as it exists in the wild. Kestrels are the smallest of the Falcons. They are about the size of a mourning dove but don’t let that diminutive size (for a bird of prey anyway) fool you. These birds are not known for hunting other birds but rather feed on grasshoppers, beetles, mice and other small rodents. They have been known to take a small bird but that is not the norm.

A unique thing that a kestrel can do that most birds of any species can not is that they are able to hover in flight. They fly with great speed and precision and then just stop in mid-air to wait until the time to strike is right; then dive with a graceful accuracy to grab the food source that they spotted.

 Is The Kestrel Totem Working With You?
Hovering Kestrel Poster

by ddovala on Zazzle.com

It is unusual to see more than one kestrel at a time. They tend to hunt alone and we often see them perched on a wire overhead, a tall branch of a tree or even a ledge on a building. They are just as comfortable in the city as they are in the country. I didn’t realize that these small falcons are the most prevalent of the falcons found in the US until I started to research this bird totem for my friend. Since, I don’t think that I have ever noticed one, I was not aware that they can be found all over the state that I live in. I will be watching for them now.

The Lessons Of The Kestel

So, what does this animal spirit come to tell us? The main messages are that of Mental Speed, Agility and Grace. That makes some sense since this littlest of the falcon family does fly with great speed and is agile in flight along with being graceful.

It can also bring us the message of looking into past-life connections. The reason for this message is that falconry has been practiced for thousands of years. It is still practiced across the globe. There could be a connection of souls that you have shared lives with in the past when you see the kestrel enter your life.

As I told my friend, the hovering ability of the kestrel is very significant in her life right now. Her movements or decisions can be performed with great speed and precision but also the power to stop and use the flight to its fullest advantage. I feel for my friend that she is currently in a “hovering” pattern waiting for the precise moment to strike on some ideas that she has struggled with acting upon. This struggle has caused her to feel a little frustrated because she felt that she should be doing something. Now we know that she is just supposed to wait and she will know when to plunge into it with all she has. There is another aspect of this hovering gesture; patience. Once she knows the time is right; she will be able to fully commit to her activities and with the greatest of success.

If the kestrel is working with you right now just know that it is stimulating your senses so that you will have a graceful, quick and agile mind. You are being taught to use your mental faculties more effectively and more patiently so that you can capture what you most desire and need.

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Calendars for the Frog Totem

Cleansing Lessons From Frog

If frog works with you as a Native American Totem, then you know of its message of “cleansing”. Frog comes from the Eas on the medicine wheel and teaches us to honor our tears because they cleanse our souls. Bathe in the waters of Frog medicine all year long with these wonderful options for wall calendars featuring incredible images of Frog.

201500009710 Calendars for the Frog Totem

 

Frogs WWF 2015 Deluxe Wall Calendar

Benefiting the World Wildlife Fund a stunning wall calendar shows the different habitats of frogs across the globe. Images of tree frogs, poison frogs, and other types are a reminder that we need to protect our amphibian friends.

 

201500000211 Calendars for the Frog Totem
Frogs 2015 Wall Calendar

This web-footed amphibian has long back legs for jumping and has no tail. The largest frog on the North American continent is the Bullfrog known for its deep bellowing croak. The red-eyed tree frog is very colorful and only the male croaks. The poor female is basically mute.

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Fabulous Frogs 2015 Wall Calendar

Calendar features the images from photojournalist David McEnery. We see the wondrous world of frogs through the lens of the cartoonist with a camera in this delightful wall calendar for 2015. Also comes in a Mini Wall version.

You can Shop over 700 Animal calendars at Calendars.com including more frog calendars.

You can learn more of the lessons of the frog totem from this blog post.

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Panther In The Sky (A Book Review)

James Alexander Thom Book About Tecumseh

One of my favorite historical fiction books is Panther in the Sky by James Alexander Thom. The book is about the life of Tecumseh a Shawnee Chief who tried desperately to unite his people to stop the encroachment of the white settlers into his land. Thom tells a believable story that makes you feel that you are actually there living Tecumseh’s life with him and the Native Americans at this time in our country’s early history.

Tecumseh 226x300 Panther In The Sky (A Book Review) Panther in the Sky begins with Tecumseh’s birth on a night when a comet streaked across the sky around March 9, 1768. His name means “shooting star” or “panther across the sky” and is how the author Thom derived the title of this remarkable book.

Tecumseh Shawnee Chief Is The Panther In The Sky

James Alexander Thom of Bloomington, Indiana wrote about the life of the Shawnee Chief, Tecumseh in his book entitled Panther in the Sky. The book is historical fiction at its very best and was first published in 1989. The paperback edition was released in 1990.

Tecumseh is known as one of the last great chiefs of the Shawnee. He opposed the white settlers moving into Indian lands and tried to start a confederacy of several tribes to stop the encroachment of the white men. Perhaps you have heard of Tecumseh’s War which was fought in the Indiana Territory.

The book begins with the birth of this great warrior chief and ends with his final battle. Thom brings the character of Tecumseh to life and does a wonderful job of describing what we can only imagine this great man thought and felt. The accuracy of the history of this era in America is superb.

A Quote From Tecumseh: Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.

Thank you for stopping by to read my book review about Panther In The Sky by James Alexander Thom. Please feel free to leave a comment or just to say you were here.

 

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Red Cloud Sioux Chief

A Powerful Oglala Sioux Leader

Red Cloud was one of the last of the mighty Sioux Chiefs from the Indian Wars of the 1800’s to survive. He was a powerful leader of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) and spent his final years at the Pine Ridge Reservation continuing to lead his people in the transition of the freedom of the plains to reservation life.

Follow me now on a journey back to a time when the First Nation People were forced off of their lands and were deceived over and over again by treaties that were never meant to be kept by encroaching white men.

Early Years Of Red Cloud

There is some discrepancy of the actual birth date of Red Cloud. Some places state that he was born in 1819 and other say 1822. He was born somewhere close the forks of the Platte River in what is now Nebraska. His mother was Oglala and his father was Brule.

It is said that Red Cloud was a strong swimmer in his youth, swimming across the Missouri and Yellow Rivers. He also was very talented in breaking horses. It is said that as a young boy he trained his horse so well that he could ride without a lariat and control his horse just by the movement of his legs.

At a young age, Red Cloud gained strong military skills by fighting against neighboring Pawnee and Crow over land and hunting rights.
Red Cloud3 Red Cloud Sioux Chief

You will hear Chief Red Cloud referred to as an Oglala Sioux and sometimes as a Lakota Sioux and it might confuse you. The Oglala Sioux are a band of the Lakota or Teton Sioux which in turn is one of the 3 divisions of the Sioux Nation.

Red Cloud’s War

The United States government met with a formidable opponent when they came up against Red Cloud. It is said that he was one of the most capable rivals that the U. S. Army ever faced.

During 1866 and 1867 there were a series of conflicts between the Lakota Sioux and the U. S. military over the rights of the land of the Wyoming and Montana territories. These conflicts have become known as Red Cloud’s War.

Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, and about 2,000 Arapaho, Sioux, and Cheyenne defeated Captain Fetterman and his troops in December of 1866. This victory of the Lakota made the government take notice of the situation. There was a peace commission created and it was found that the whites were the cause of the problems and a treaty was signed at Ft. Laramie with the whites promising to leave the land forever.
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Later Years Of The Chief

It didn’t take long for the treaty to be broken as gold was found in the Black Hills and the white men started moving in.

Red Cloud had worked for his people and had even visited Washington D.C. by 1870. His mission was to get the government to send rations to the Lakota and shortly thereafter the Red Cloud Agency was formed.

General George Armstrong Custer moved troops into the Black Hills by 1874 due to the gold rush. This didn’t sit very well with the Sioux nation and trouble began again. Red Cloud refused to cede this territory to the whites as did the other leaders. The Great Sioux war was lead by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull in 1876 and 1877. Red Cloud did not participate in the war.

His people were moved to what is now the Pine Ridge Reservation. Red Cloud continued to try to take care of his people as they had to transition into reservation life. He died at the age of 87 on December 10, 1909. He is buried at Pine Ridge.

Educating the Children

Red Cloud Indian School was formed on Pine Ridge Reservation in 1888 at the request of Red Cloud. He continually asked that the “Black Robes” be allowed to come to the reservation to form a school. The Holy Rosary Mission was formed by the Jesuits and the Franciscan Nuns and a school was established.

Red Cloud had begged for the Sina Sapa (black robes) come to the reservation “so that our children may be as wise as the white man’s children”. He was a man of foresight as he could see that the Red Man’s way of life would be no more. He understood that the best way for his people to survive was for the children to be educated.
grabill indian school 300x241 Red Cloud Sioux Chief

Red Cloud Quote: They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.

Chief Red Cloud was an honorable man and a great protector of his people. He was said to be a great orator.

He married only one woman in his lifetime and was said to be quite the gentleman. He was a devoted father to his children.

He was loved by his people and was continually disappointed in the white men’s deception. He lived his last years a blind man on the reservation at Pine Ridge.

Words From The Chief:

I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.

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