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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Bev Doolittle Calendars

Camouflage Art Calendar

The art of Bev Doolittle is always a discovery journey. The fans of Doolittle enjoy each viewing of her art finding the hidden faces or images in each piece. Calendar customers especially enjoy getting to find the hidden objects for twelve months of the year. The artist’s imagination takes us on a the trek through wilderness landscapes finding the hidden details of America’s Native history.

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Bev Doolittle 2015 Wall Calendar

FEATURES:

  • Format of calendar is the Standard Wall
  • Calendar size when closed is 12 inches long by 13.5  inches wide
  • Calendar size when opened is 24 inches long by 13.5 inches wide
  • Binding is center stapled
  • Published by Mead Products LLC

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Inside page of Doolittle 2015 Calendar

Working mostly with watercolor paints, Bev Doolittle has delighted people with her art for quite some time. Most of her paintings are scenes of the American West with Native American life, horses, wild animals, and landscape themes. Western art has historically been dominated by oil paintings, Bev has taken watercolor into this realm quite successfully.

The calendar is in stock and ready to ship to the location of your choice. Hang one of her calendars on a wall of your choosing or give it as a gift to someone on your holiday gift list.

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Living With Owl As Your Birth Totem

owl totem 277x300 Living With Owl As Your Birth Totem If your birthday falls between November 22nd and December 22nd then your moon sign is the Owl. This wise winged brother came to mentor you from the day you were born and will council you until your journey on earth ends. When you are ruled by the Owl totem you are a person who needs to understand from the deepest of levels. You are also often times able to see the higher purpose of things.

As a person who walks with owl medicine you often frighten people because you can not be deceived no matter how hard people try to disguise what they are up to. You may take this ability for granted but the people around you do not.

This spirit animal will often come to you at night through your dreams.  You might also see the actual predator around you at times. When he has a message for you, you might see owls everywhere you look both real and in images. Pay attention, Brother Owl is trying to share some wisdom with you.

He is a sacred medicine bird that helps the truth emerge with his silent flight, his omens and magic. He resides in the West Winds and so do you for the most part. The West direction is a place for personal reflections and insights. The Spirit Keeper of these west winds is Mudjekeewis (Grizzly Bear).

By having the Owl as your birth totem, you belong to the Hawk Clan. You belong to people who are creative, spiritual and are intent on actions and not just words. The Hawk Clan follows the element of fire.

Your stone guides are amber and obsidian. You will find good energy when you encounter these minerals and may benefit from wearing jewelry made from them. Another good idea is to get a sample of one or the other or both.

With the owl birth totem you are also connected to the plants of Poinsettia and carnations along with the colors of gold, crimson and purple. The trees which hold spiritual significance for you are Elder, Mulberry and Chestnut.

owl totem chart 946x1024 Living With Owl As Your Birth Totem

I placed the chart above to help those of you remember the different parts of having the owl as your totem of birth. As you begin to work with your totems, the ones in the chart are good ones to begin looking at. Search for information about the West Wind and the other directions of the Medicine Wheel and what they mean. Find out the significance of belonging to the Hawk Clan and the element of fire. Find the meanings of the stones and the plants associated with your moon signs. Be like Brother Owl and find the wisdom of each of them. It will help you feel more balanced and will probably make a lot of sense to you because they are connected to you in such a personal way.

Obviously, this is just a start in your learning about your own totems. You also have power totems that walk with you on your earth journey along with messenger totems that journey with you for shorter periods of time.

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Rabbit Totem

rabbit Rabbit Totem In Native American tribal traditions animal spirits play a huge role in spiritual teachings. Creature teachers such as the rabbit totem share medicine or life lessons with us to help us become better humans as we walk on our Earth Journey. We are all born with a birth totem that walks with us throughout our lives here on Mother Earth. We also have power totems that are also life long spirits who teach us regularly. A rabbit totem could be one of your power totems or it could be a messenger totem that comes for a short time in your life to share its medicines and then moves on after you have accepted or learned what it was there to teach you.

The Story Of Rabbit and Eye Walker

A very long time ago when the Earth was young, Rabbit was a fearless and brave warrior. Eye Walker, who happened to be a witch, was a friend to Rabbit. They spent a lot of time together sharing and talking about all sorts of things. They were very close friends.

One day Eye Walker and Rabbit had walked a long way and decided to sit down for a rest. Rabbit said, “My throat is really dry. I’m thirsty.” Eye Walker looked around, found a leaf, blew on it, and handed Rabbit a gourd of water to drink. Rabbit drank but said not a word of thanks. Then Rabbit said that he was hungry. Eye Walker took up a stone, blew on it and turned it into a turnip for Rabbit to eat. Rabbit ate it quickly and still remained quiet.

The pair started back on their walk and ended up in the mountains. When they were almost at the top, Rabbit fell and rolled almost all the way to the bottom. When Eye Walker finally found her friend he was in really bad shape. She tenderly applied some of her magic salve on his little body to relieve his pain and to mend his broken bones. Rabbit said not a word of thanks to Eye Walker.

After a few days Eye Walker was looking for her friend but could not find him anywhere. She finally gave up her search and went on with her daily activities. And then one day, quite by accident, she ran in to her little friend. “Rabbit, I feel like you have been hiding from me and avoiding me. Why would you do that?”

“Because I am afraid of you! Your magic scares me!” Rabbit was cowering as he said, “Just leave me alone!”

“Oh I see,” said Eye Walker. “I have shared my magical powers to help you and now you turn on me and no longer want my friendship.”

“That’s right! I want nothing more to do with you or your powers! They frighten me terribly. I hope we never meet again!”

With tears in her eyes Eye Walker spoke, “We were once companions and great friends, but no more, Rabbit. I have the power to destroy you but I will not. Instead, I lay a curse on you and all of your tribe. From this day forward you will call your fears and they will come to you! The sweet bonds between us have now been severed for evermore.”

So, now Rabbit is known as the Fear Caller. He goes out and sees Eagle and shouts, “I am afraid of you Eagle!” Eagle hears and swoops down to eat him. Rabbit calls out to all of the predators: bobcat, wolf, coyote, and snake. They hear him and take him as a meal.

People with the Rabbit Totem: are so afraid of tragedy, illness, disaster, and “being taken”.

They call those fears to themselves to teach them lessons.

When I first learned the meaning of the Rabbit totem

I thought it was such a sad totem to have working with a person! Who wants to walk around in fear all of the time? And then I realized that actually the medicine of the rabbit totem is pretty special. Totem animals always have a positive lesson to teach us so I needed to look deeper to the lessons Rabbit teaches so that I didn’t think it was a sad totem to have working with someone.

People who have Rabbit working with them must stop talking about the horrible things happening. They must let it go so that more bad things do not happen. They must remove the “what if” in their vocabulary and look at the “what is” in their lives.

The positive medicine is to turn your fearful attitude into one of courage. Do not let yourself become paralyzed over the things that are beyond your control. If you allow it, you will become your fears.
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I hope you enjoyed reading about the Rabbit totem and if you feel that Rabbit is trying to share his medicine with you, I hope this helped you on your journey. Please do let me know that you stopped by today.

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