I would like to talk to you today about the Cradleboard and the message and teachings it gives you in your Native American Totems while walking on the Sacred Path.
The Cradleboard of your Sacred Path is telling you that the papoose you are carrying is your future. In order to influence it you must act now. No matter your situation, your are being asked to use your ability to respond now. You will get your courage from the Warrior side of your nature. It is time for you to use your own creativity, to speak your own truths, and respond. It does not matter whether this is a past, present, or future challenge as it is your responsibility to find your own answers and to act upon them. Let me explain.
The Cradleboard was the carrier for infants used by just about every Tribal Tradition in Native America. The frame was made of wood to support the body of the baby. Sage leaves were used to cushion the infant with rabbit fur secured over the top of the leaves for added comfort. Deer hide was generally used for the outside of the cradleboard to help secure the baby and for easier access. Many had a bonnet type feature at the top to further protect the baby and to keep the sun and rain out of babies eyes.
In the Native way of thinking the understanding of responsibility is the ability to respond. The Cradleboard symbolizes all of the needed characteristics for responding to life’s needs. It keeps you secure, it keeps you warm, it keeps you dry and allows for easy transport.
It is our purpose and our duty to grow, to understand, and to live in harmony. We are to take responsibility for the Past, Present, and Future. We must have the ability to respond to the Past to honor the Traditions of our Ancestors and to pass the Knowing Systems to our children.
The ability to respond to the Present calls for us to seek beauty in each of our days. We are asked to use our gifts and talents for the greatest good of all around us.
To have the ability to respond to the Future we must understand the Present. The survival and the well-being of the next seven generations depends on the thoughts and actions that we take now. The Cradleboard is the symbol that reminds us of our ability to respond to all 3 fates.
Remember the Cradleboard of your Sacred Path as you work with your Native American Totems and respond.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related.
Yesterday I introduced the tradition of the Talking Stick and promised to continue today. I explained the significance that the type of wood that the stick is made of can be.
A real Talking Stick would also be decorated and the color of beads or paint would have meaning along with any type of feather or hide attached would also have meaning. Colors would be difficult to define here as the different tribal traditions have different meanings for different colors.
The feathers or hides used bring the Medicine of the animal to the Talking Stick. For instance Rabbit would bring the ability to hear with long ears.
Each Talking Stick made for a Council would be very personal and made with care to bring the right totems and medicines to the circle.
In the hustle and bustle of our lives today, we really won’t make a Talking Stick to carry with us. Not a physical one anyway. I do have a Talking Stick in my head and heart, though. I try to envision it as I participate in a conversation with people. Remembering that every living creature deserves to have their say. By listening to their Sacred View I can broaden my understanding and perhaps relate what I’ve heard in a new manner.
It has been said that there are many spokes to the Great Wheel of Life and that every one of us will have stood on each spoke during sometime in our lives. Each lesson learned on a spoke brings us closer to harmony and wholeness. If we hold contempt in our hearts for those who have not learned the lessons yet because they haven’t been on that spoke, then we prevent our own growth.
Thinking of the Talking Stick as we converse with people reminds us of the validity of the viewpoints of those around us. It teaches us to listen and then to apply what we have heard. It reminds us to not interrupt as someone tries to impart their wisdom. We are reminded that there is always more than one answer to any problem.
I so love the lesson of the Talking Stick! And as I did yesterday, I pass the stick to you now.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
The message and tradition of The Talking Stick really speaks to the very core of my soul. I think many people have seen the practice in movies and probably didn’t realize the significance of this powerful stick. It represents viewpoints and options and in my mind respect of others.
This tool has been and is used by many Native American Peoples when a Council is called. By using the Talking Stick each person at the council is allowed to present their Sacred Point of View. It is passed from person to person as they speak and only the person holding the stick is allowed to speak during the time they hold it. An Answering Feather is also sometimes used. The holder of the Talking Stick also holds the Answering Feather and will pass the feather to a person to answer a question if asked.
In essence this is a form of parliamentary procedure which recognizes the value of each and every speaker. It has been used for centuries by Native Peoples. The Talking Stick is a visual sign to remind the members of the meeting to listen carefully at what each person says so that when they hold the stick their comments will not repeat information or be off topic. It also reminds them of their personal honor to allow everyone their own Sacred Point of View.
It is the responsibility of the Tribe or group who is hosting the Council to make the Talking Stick for that meeting. It can be made of any of the Standing People (tree). However, there is certain Medicine given by the different types of trees and that will play into the choice for the Talking Stick with what is hoped to be accomplished or the general overall feeling wanted for the Council.
- White Pine is for Peace
- Birch is for Truth
- Evergreens is for continued growth
- Cedar is for cleansing
- Aspen is for seeing things clearly
- Maple (sometimes used for Children) is for gentleness and sweetness
- Elm is for wisdom
- Mountain Ash is for protection
- Oak is for strength
- Cherry is for expression, high emotion, or love
- Fruit woods for abundance
- Walnut or Pecan is for a gathering of energy or beginning new projects
Every piece of decoration and color used on a Talking Stick has significance. Tomorrow I will teach you more about the Talking Stick as it is a long message but I feel it is an important one for all people. We may not hold an actual stick in our hands but if we could start to visualize one in our minds and begin to be respectful of the Sacred View Point of the people we encounter each day…wouldn’t the world be a much better place?
I’ve held my Talking Stick long enough for today and now I hand it to you…it is your turn to talk and my turn to listen.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
Coral Teaches Us Nurturing
Native American silver jewelry often uses Coral along with Turquoise. There is a symbolic reason for this use. Coral comes from the seas of the Earth Mother and is a symbol of the blood of our planet. The waters of Mother Earth are considered her blood as we have blood in our bodies. The First People, or Native Americans, see the Earth Mother as a living being with a consciousness and a free will of her own. She is the true Mother of all living things.
Turquoise is of the soil of our Earth Mother and represents the Sky Nation and protects those who act as Guardians of the Earth. Turquoise is a male element and can be worn for protection. As the Warrior Clans protect the People and all future generations, turquoise protects the wearer from bad Medicine. We need this protection so that nurturing can occur in a safe place. That is why you see Turquoise and Coral worn together. Mother Earth and Father Sky work together to protect and nurture all creatures. The Silver mountings carry the symbol of purity and truth which is the marriage of Earth and Sky.
>We humans have a need to be nurtured and we are always seeking comfort and nourishment from each other, our pets, our possessions, our careers, and other aspects of our Earth Walk.
Using Coral allows us to reconnect to the blood in our bodies and to the waters of Mother Earth. There is a spiritual understanding that our body needs air, food, and physical activity. This is a sacred understanding. When we reconnect with our feelings we can develop a communication with our physical form that is not based on addictions, compulsions, fear, gluttony, or selfishness.
Coral tells us to listen to our feelings. Don’t ignore how you feel around certain people or how your body feels. Coral tells us to reconnect to these feelings while we walk our Sacred Path here on Earth.
~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related
A Lesson About Unity and Wholeness Achieved
In the Navajo and Hopi traditions the Swirling or Whirling Rainbow Woman brings the rains that nurture the Three Sisters (Corn, Squash, and Beans). The Whirling Rainbow Woman comes from all Four Directions and curves around making a cup to hold the rain. Without the rain the Three Sisters would die and the People can not be fed.
The Whirling Rainbow is a promise of peace among all Nations and all peoples. The Rainbow Race opposes the idea of a superior race that would control and conquer. It instead stresses equality. Peace comes from the understanding that all races are one. The Whirling Rainbow embodies the idea that the unity of all colors, all creeds can work together for the good of the whole. When we reach a time that all pathways to wholeness are respected and practiced by all cultures the prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow will be complete.
Jamie Sams speaks of the Prophecy of the Whirling Rainbow that she learned as a child. The prophecy was quite specific. “When the Time of the White Buffalo approaches, the third generation of the White Eyes’ children will grow their hair and speak of love as the healer of the Children of Earth. These children will seek new ways of understanding themselves and others. They will wear feathers and beads and paint their faces. They will seek the Elders of the Red Race and drink of their wisdom. These white-eyed children will be a sign that the Ancestors are returning in white bodies, but they are Red on the inside. They will learn to walk the Earth Mother in balance again and reform the ideas of the white chiefs. ”
I was blown away when I read this prophecy! For those readers of mine who are old enough you will know of which children this prophecy describes. The Flower Children and hippies of the 1960s are who are described and even though many fell away for a while, many of us are returning to this knowledge.
Once the Buffalo returned the generation following the Flower Children would witness the dawning of the Fifth World of Peace. During this dawning of the Fifth World there will be changes to Mother Earth that will create fear in her children but that fear will lead to an understanding and unity of One Planet and One People. Are we in this dawning? I think we are.
The Whirling Rainbow of Peace destroys the lies that have made the Children of earth be distrustful of each other. It will replace the illusion that we must be separate and shows us the truth in unity.
This is a time to look at the lessons being given to you and to toss away any type of discord from your life. It is a time for you to grow. It is a time to create new beauty and abundance in your life. Starve the negativity in your life by not giving it power over you. Do not step in the quicksand of petty tyrants.
Maybe some will now understand why I sign my posts with the Lakota Prayer…
~Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related