Daily Archives: March 9, 2011

Speculation That The ‘Windsor Witches’ Raised Energy (Part 1)

Speculation That The ‘Windsor Witches’ Raised Energy (Part 1)

Author: Zan Fraser

Four women of Windsor, England, were arraigned in January 1579, and condemned as “notorious witches.” The judgment (based upon their apparent confessions) was that they had caused the deaths of a number of people through their “Sorceries and Inchauntementes, ” a capital crime in Elizabethan England. The four were killed (probably by hanging) on February 26, 1579: Mother Dutton, Mother Devell, Mother Margaret, and Elizabeth Stile, alias Rockingham.

(Many older women of the period possessed “aliases, ” meaning the names of previous husbands. Stile had been married to a man named Rockingham, who must have died, before she married Mr. Stile. As she is identified as a widow, Mr. Stile must have been deceased as well. It was the Elizabethan custom to call older women “Mother”; this custom seems to have super kicked in when the woman in question was perceived as a witch. English witch-accounts typically are populated with women called “Mother This” and “Mother That.”) In addition to these four, there are some four or so other individuals implicated as Windsor Witches.

A remarkable thing is that the case of the Windsor Witches is recorded in two separate pamphlet-accounts, providing two independent points-of-view with which to consider the matter. Edward White published A Rehearsall both straung and true in March 1579, based upon Elizabeth Stile’s jail statements. Richard Galis (whose father had been a mayor of Windsor and one of the men to whose magical murder the four confessed) published his A brief treatise later that year.

One text is held at the British Library, the other by the Bodleian; both are reprinted by Marion Gibson, in Early Modern Witches: Witchcraft Cases in Contemporary Writing, (New York: Routledge, 2000) . Barbara Rosen also reproduces A Rehearsall both straung and true in her collection of sources Witchcraft (New York: Taplinger Publishing, 1972) .

The striking thing is that the Windsor Witches seem to have formed a genuine magic-working group (what we would call a “coven, ” although that word is not used) . Item 6 of Stile’s statements in Galis’s account (Item 7 in Rehearsall) asserts that “father Rosimond and his daughter, mother Margarete, mother Dutton, and her selfe [Elizabeth Stile] were accustomed to make their meeting on the backside of Maister Dodges, where they used to conferre of such their enterprises as before they had determined of and practized.” The “backside of Master Dodges” would be the back of the man’s property, presumably remote and removed from traffic.

Rehearsall says that they met “in the Pittes there, ” meaning “saw-pits” or large holes dug into the ground into which felled trees would be angled, to be conveniently chopped down to size. “Conferring” and “determining” give the impression of a deliberative group that traded advice and suggestions back and forth. In Item 23 of Rehearsall, Stiles elaborates further that the group “did meete sometymes in maister Dodges Pittes, and sometyme aboute a leven of the Clocke in the night at the Pounde [pond].”

Bits of the group’s history start to emerge. Stile said that it was Mother Dutton and Mother Devell who had “enticed” her into the practice of witchcraft. Mother Dutton was apparently clairvoyant; Item 2 of Rehearsall assures that she “can tell every ones message, assone [as soon] as she seeth them approche nere to the place of her abode.” This of course implies that people frequently sought out Mother Dutton at her residence for her assistance with their problems- the “messages” that they bore.

As with a number of the English cases, there appears to have been a strong sub-current of the wise-folk traditions going on behind the scenes. The pious Address that opens Rehearsall condemns the “malicious and treasonable driftes [ways]” of witches, “of late yeares greately multiplyed” in number by Satan. It goes on to fault persons who call witches “by the honorable name of wise women” and seek them out “for the health of themselves or others.”

Father Rosimond, cited as a cohort by Elizabeth Stile, was such a cunning-man. (The fact that he is “Father” Rosimond is the male corollary to the custom of calling older, witchy women “Mother.” It does not mean that he was a Catholic priest, especially as he has a daughter.)

The Memorandum affixed to the end of Rehearsall discusses how “the Wiseman named Father Rosimonde” advised a Windsor man to break a spell of bewitchment by scratching the forehead (so as to draw the blood) of the vindictive witch (Mother Stile, as it turns out) . Item 1 of Galis’s account states that “one father Rosiman…and his daughter are witches, and that the said Rosiman can alter and chaunge him selfe into any kinde of beast that him listeth [that he desires].”

Elizabeth Stile insists in Rehearsall (Item 24) that she often found Rosimond sitting in a wood not far from his house, “under the bodie of a Tree, sometymes in the shape of an Ape, and otherwhiles like an Horse.” She goes on to reaffirm in Item 25 that “father Rosimond can transforme hym selfe into the likenesse of an Ape, or a Horse, and that he can helpe any manne so bewitched to his health againe, as well as to bewitche.”

Shape-shifting appears to have been a custom with the Windsor group. Item 22 of Galis’s account informs that “their woords of charme weare [were] these, come on let us go about it, and presently they were changed into a new shape.” In addition to other things, Galis reports a supernatural attack from “a huge and mightie black Cat, ” which he took to be a transformed witch.

These are all examples of the medieval mythology that witches transformed into animals, surely inherited from shamanic Celtic/ Teutonic religions. To judge from their testimony, the Windsor Witches are pretty confident that they can handle animal-metamorphosis.

Unlike the four condemned women, Rosimond and his daughter do not appear to have been charged. Either they did not excite the alarm in their neighbors that the women did or they are an example of anti-witch misogyny, whereby authorities and townsfolk regard male and female witches in different lights.

Another detail fascinating from the modern perspective is the back-story of two women who died slightly before the local fear of the Windsor Coven (as we might call them) blew up into accusations of death and harm. Galis’s account makes clear that dread and suspicion of the group had been building well before the events reported in Rehearsall.

At one point, Mother Audrey and Mother Nelson were required to stand under the pulpit during Sunday service, in order to bring them back into the Christian fold and away from the pernicious snares of witchcraft. A short time after, both women died- we are not told how (although Galis assumes that the agony of their reawakened Christian consciousness did them in) . The event of Mother Audrey’s death is referred to several times, deemed significant because she is called “the Mistresse” witch.

It was the Elizabethan habit to esteem some witches as vastly more important and superior to other witches. Reginald Scot (writing in the 1580s) complained that a witch named Mother Bombie was held as a “principal witch, ” “being in divers books set out with authority, registered and chronicled by the name of ‘the great witch of Rochester, ’ and reputed among all men for the chief ringleader of all other witches”; a Dame Witch directs and oversees the witch-workings of Jonson’s play The Masque of Queens. Such customs may be seen as analogous to our own tradition of the High Priestess.

In the section where Galis describes how Mother Dutton “practised with her Associates his overthroowe, ” he cites as the four notable witches, Mother Rockingham (Stile) , Mother Dutton, Mother Devil (possibly his satire on Mother “Devell”) , and “Audrey the Mistresse.”

As he describes the witches being subjected to public exposure under the pulpit during services, Galis marks that a brief while after (undoubtedly due to gnawing conscience) , “Audrey the Mistresse and Mother Nelson dyed [died], after whose death the sisters left behinde…made their assembly in the pits in Maister Dodges backside.” In addition to “sisters, ” Galis refers to the witches as “Confederates” and “Associates.”

It is apparent that Mother Audrey was regarded as the Chief Witch or what we would call the High Priestess of the group. As Elizabeth Stile is recorded as being “of the age of lxv, ” or sixty-five, we might imagine that Mother Audrey was well advanced in seniority as well. One last thing- Rehearsall does not use the name “Audrey” for the Chief witch of the Windsor group. Item 26 of Rehearsall records Elizabeth Stile as calling “mother Seidre…the maistres [mistress] Witche of all the reste, and she is now deade.”

Is it possible that “Mother Seidre” is a ceremonial name or a witch-name assumed by Mother Audrey, perhaps upon her elevation to the High Priestesshood? Its apparent connection to Nordic seider, or the trance-induced revelations of prophetic women called seid-konas, causes one to wonder.

The Windsor Witches do not seem to have been an admirable lot- we would say that they were Un-Ethical in their practice. Their social relationships with the outside community appear antagonistic and their own testimony appears to admit to all sorts of misdeeds, including killing various people by torturing wax images.

They seem not to have comported themselves as would a Blesser or Blessing Witch (as the Age expressed it) ; the Blessing Witch Mother Bombie (contemporary to the Windsor Witches) appears to have been universally beloved and feared by none, whereas the Windsor Witches freak people out that they are killing them and causing harm. (For more on Mother Bombie, please see Chapter I of A Briefe Historie of Wytches/i>.)

It seems pretty much agreed upon within Windsor society that the following people constituted a confederation or an association of witches: Mother Nelson, Mother Dutton, Mother Devell, Mother Margaret, Elizabeth Stile (Mother Rockingham) , the wise-man Father Rosimond, and Rosimond’s daughter. Mother Audrey (presumably also called Mother Seidre) was the Mistress Witch or High Priestess until she died. These people would meet near a pond around eleven o’clock of the night or (apparently more often) they would assemble at the removed portion of Mr. Dodge’s property, where the saw-pits were (presumably therefore a wooded area) . Item 17 of Galis’s account refers to these meeting places when Stile claims that Mother Dutton and Mother Devil (Devell) “allured” her to “doo and exercise ye craft.”

This is the question- what did the Windsor Witch confederation “do and exercise” as “ye craft, ” when they met in the late still of night in the wooded pits of Dodge’s land?

Speculation to follow-

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Survival of the Past, Survival of the Future

Survival of the Past, Survival of the Future

Author: AutumnThorn

 In reading a text by George Henderson, Survivals in Beliefs Among The Celts (1911) on Sacred-Texts.com I am struck with the possibility that as we 21st century pagans move forward with our practices, we are in many ways bringing survivals of our own prior religious practices into our current beliefs. Henderson states that, “Survivals may be defined as primitive rites believed and practiced, rites which once were ‘faith’ but which from a later and higher conception simply ‘remain over’ or survive. A survival may remain over both as ‘belief’ and as ‘rite’; in either case it is the equivalent of the Latin ‘superstitio’.”

I do not agree that it is essentially the birthplace of superstition, nor do I agree with his implication that the practice is no longer believed. Still, the notion that we bring what we previously practiced into our contemporary practice is worthy of note. Henderson is, of course, discussing the survival of certain pagan practices in an otherwise Christianized culture. I am suggesting that for, at least some pagans, there is a survival or remainder of Judeo-Christian religion that survives a conversion to paganism.

One of the more obvious examples of the survival of Judeo-Christian practices within contemporary pagan practice is in the Alexandrian Tradition that incorporates the Qabalah and Angels Magic. Christian Wicca is another hybrid form, which incorporates elements from Wicca such as reincarnation, fairies, and the Summerland (which is equated to the Catholic Purgatory) with a transmogrification of the trinity into a Father/Son/Divine Feminine Spirit.

Some Christian Wiccan practices are based on one of the texts Henderson uses to explain survivals, The Carmina Gadelica, a collection of prayers, incantations, blessings, runes and practices of Scottish folk-ways from the mid 19th century. (Of particular note is the Beltane Blessing, which I have not included herein because it is rather long) .

Is this borrowing a bad thing? Should we aspire to completely remove our prior experiences from our current practice? I would argue that we not only should not but cannot, for survival of these prior practices are the way I learned at least some of my family tradition.

My Great-Great Grandmother Ellendra could remove her past practice of our Family Tradition from her practice of Methodism when she moved from her native Wales to the American South in the early 19th Century. Her experience brings new meaning to me of our family’s motto: To Know, To Dare, To be Silent.

Ellendra kept very silent because the family tradition in my branch of the family seems to have died with her silence. We all joined the ranks of Methodists and Baptists in lock step… and yet…

My Nana told vivid stories of her grandmother, Ellendra, riding across fields, sidesaddle, her black English riding habit flowing behind her like a dark raven’s wing. Ravens are rarely seen in Louisiana so how would Nana have known about ravens but for being told of their significance to our family?

One might argue that Nana was well read and perhaps knew of ravens through Poe or some other author. Perhaps, but Nana also was adept at folk medicine, growing and using herbs (which she called “yarbs”) for healing, and moon lore. Because she passed that information on to my Mother, Elgene, I would guess that she learned it from her mother, Elvira, who most likely, learned from her mother, Ellendra.

My Nana and her daughters were different – even odd – my mother and her sisters were quite psychic, as was my Nana – not something proper a Northside Houston Baptist woman in the 1960s would claim out loud, anyway. I even remember one summer evening when I was about 17, I offered to read Tarot cards at Nana’s kitchen table and she did not bat an eye – my Mom and Nana sat with me and had their cards read.

I believe some of the old ways of my family were remembered and incorporated into the new world my Great Great Grandmother found herself in – one that was very Christian and of course, would not suffer a witch to live, and so, to live she was silent, yet created her own form of religion, with some of her traditions surviving within the new religion she was forced to adopt. If she had not adopted and adapted, none of the old ways would have survived for my grandmother and mother to teach to me.

They never called it “witchcraft” they actually called it “old wives tales”. Somehow, it was okay for old wives to tell tales and still be accepted within their community.

What seems to be happening now is that some people are criticizing those who may be incorporating prior beliefs into their contemporary practice. Whether those beliefs are drawn from a Judeo-Christian belief system or from a later system like Alexandrian or Gardnerian Wicca, doesn’t seem to really matter to me.

What matters is: Does it work?
 


Footnotes:
Carmichael, Alexander, The Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations Ortha Nan Gaidheal, Volume I, 1900,

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/sbc/sbc03.htm

Henderson, George Henderson, Survivals in Beliefs Among The Celts (1911) ,

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/sbc/sbc03.htm

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Recognizing the Maiden Within

Recognizing the Maiden Within

Author: Ruadh De’ Sidhe

If at thirteen you had asked me, away from my mother, what religion I was, I would have told you Wiccan. From a very young age I was fascinated with all things esoteric and occult. My early curiosity was well fed by watching ‘In Search Of’ and voraciously reading everything I could find about the occult. By the time I reached my teens I was clandestinely buying Llewellyn books with my lunch money. My fascination cost me. I was an outcast in the small Christian school I attended. I was bullied heavily and told by school administrators and my mother that I brought it on myself.

If you had asked me at seventeen, I would have said I was Wiccan and that I intended to raise the children I was carrying in my womb as Wiccans. My fiancé thought it was cool to have a witch for a girlfriend, even though we still claimed Catholicism for the benefit of his family and mine. We married and the military stationed us 1500 miles away from everyone we’d ever known in a heavily Christian area. With two children in diapers and a meager income, my marriage was struggling. In a true display of Catholic guilt I attributed all my problems to leaving the church. I put my Paganism aside and threw myself into being a good Catholic mother.

If you had asked me at twenty-five, I would have told you I was Catholic. I knew Catholicism was not a cure all but it provided something of a support network amidst multiple military moves. I was lucky to have two Marian priests in succession who were truly spiritual men. While their devotion to the Virgin Mary soothed my need for female representation in my religious practice, it also caused me to examine my spiritual shortcomings. I could not muster the same level of devotion or receive the same depth of spiritual connection the other Catholics seemed to enjoy. The third priest to at our duty station did not possess the same depth of spirituality as the previous two and was more judgmental about my marriage outside the church, which only increased my discomfort with my lack of faith. I remained with the parish only long enough for my daughters to make their First Communion. I justified my decision on the basis that if they chose later in life to be practicing Catholics they would have already fulfilled the prerequisite steps.

At thirty, if you had asked me what religion I was, I would have said agnostic or recovering Catholic. I was disenchanted with Catholicism; but still had guilt and fear about pursuing Paganism. I would attend Mass if my mother came to visit and sit through the service full of resentment. My inability to find my moors spiritually made me so uncomfortable that I ignored that aspect of myself entirely. I was adrift and depressed until we moved again and Sammie came into my life.

My daughters met Sammie at their new middle school and they became fast friends. If Sammie wasn’t at my house, the twins were at her house. I recognized in her everything I had loved about myself as a misfit thirteen-year-old girl. She became my third child, the child of my heart.

She introduced my girls to Tarot and Paganism through her own exploration and gave me a way to share my own experiences with all three of them. In return, I gave her an environment free from judgment that didn’t trivialize her interest as a passing phase. Recognizing myself in her, I became a better mother to my own girls. I thought a little more before I spoke, examined whether my advice was meant to help them find their own paths or to encourage conformity.

It was two years ago today, on a Saturday morning, Sammie passed away suddenly. There were things I could not share with the girls about her passing: the dreamed premonition weeks earlier that I dismissed because it made no sense, the sound of music in the house in the early morning hours that Saturday. I could not share the depth of my own grief with anyone. For my husband it was like losing a child and for my girls, like losing a sister; but for me it went beyond that because I felt I had lost the link I had found to the person I used to be.

Over time, my grief lessened but never entirely disappeared. Sammie was often in my thoughts. As the months wore on things would turn up in the house, a deck of Tarot cards, anime sketches of girls wearing pentacles. I could not shake the growing sense that I needed to go back and reconsider my spiritual path. I had a sudden inexplicable need to find a yoga class. The only one within reasonable distance was on the opposite side of town, past Sammie’s cemetery taught by a woman twenty years my senior named Monica.

I soon found that Monica’s classes went beyond just yoga. She offered Reiki, past life workshops, and a variety of healing traditions. It was exactly what I needed when I needed it for my spiritual journey. In her classes I have found the same environment I tried to provide for Sammie.

If you asked me now, at thirty-six, what religion I am, I will tell you I am Pagan. I have studied enough to know what I don’t believe, even if I haven’t totally decided what I do believe. Finally, I am OK with that. I don’t need to understand everything; I need to find joy in gaining understanding.

So today, I acknowledge Sammie’s presence and express my gratitude. Although I only knew her within this realm a short time, I am grateful to her for reminding me of the maiden I was, making me the mother I am, and showing me the crone I can be.

Now I just need to find a nice silver chain for that moon and pentacle pendant I bought.

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Why I Am A Witch

Why I Am A Witch

Author: Stephanie Bolen

I’ve been a solitary Wiccan for twelve years, and I’ve studied herbalism, divination, spell craft, and mythology. I can read and understand the principles behind most Wiccan books, some books make sense only to their authors. I use reason and logic in my personal practices, and encourage anyone who asks to look within themselves for answers. I’m not a guru or a crackpot; I’m a witch.

I’m not a witch because of something I watched on television or saw in a movie. I’m not a witch because I hate the Christian church, have something to prove, or hate my parents. I’m not even a witch to be different. Yet, each of these charges has been leveled against me, but people don’t believe me, when I tell them the truth. I’m a witch because I’m meant to be one.

I was raised Christian, but my problem has always been I’m not Christian. There is a saying in the south, “just being the garage doesn’t make you a car.” And this was me. I really tried, I was “saved” three different times, and I asked the Lord into my heart. I prayed, and above all I went to church religiously, pardon the pun, to look for the answers to my crisis of faith.

I truly felt an honest need to commune with my creator. I felt like there was something missing from me that I couldn’t feel a divine presence in my Christian life, and for the life of me I couldn’t understand what was missing. It honestly hurt me, so I stopped going to church.

But that spiritual crisis wouldn’t go away. I knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God or whoever existed but I couldn’t find my way to communicate with him/her/them/it, and it gnawed at me. I had a many beliefs and interests not supported by the Christian church. So I decided to look elsewhere for religion and a fascination with the occult lead me to research Satanism. The two are linked in the Pentecostal mind, even if this is more fiction than fact in reality.

So I watched a documentary, called Satan, and looked up the Church of Satan’s website. They weren’t for me, they didn’t believe in a higher power, and frankly the whole superior people thing freaked me out. I knew reincarnation was real, from personal experience, so I watched a documentary on past lives and happened upon Buddhism. I actually had to do quite a bit of research on Buddhism before I disqualified it. I don’t disagree with the practices of Buddhism. My problem with Buddhism was at its core, the Buddha said the only way to escape suffering, sickness, and death was to deny they exist. I say, why escape? There is nothing wrong or evil about any of those things.

Finally, Wicca found me.

I say it found me because I didn’t research it like the others I just kept meeting Wiccans: my roommate at Salem, my crush at school, and the clerk at the bookstore, where I eventually decided to buy my beginner books. My roommate showed me how to use tarot cards when I was just beginning my journey, still a Christian yet drawn to the occult. I moved from my hometown to a small town in North Carolina, the Bible belt, and was attracted to a big friendly blonde drama student in my new school. He saw me researching Wicca on the computer, and let it slip that he was a Wiccan.

He offered to teach me, and he showed me how to pray. The way he prayed and practiced wasn’t for me, but he told me that I should find my own way and keep studying. I ended up at a national chain bookstore, looking to buy my beginner books, when the clerk asked if she could help me I knew she could.

By then I had met enough Wiccans that I could tell if someone was one, and I was right. She steered me to Scott Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, along with Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft and Uncle Bucky’s Complete Book of Witchcraft. I have to be honest, if I’d didn’t have Cunningham telling me that the decision to believe and/or follow a practice was up to me, I would have probably taken one look at the dedication ritual in Raymond Buckland’s big blue book and run screaming into the night. As it was I looked at it, said the dedication ritual is all a power game, and not for me, and went on to read a thoroughly comprehensive book of magickal practices.

You see, I’d found magic, not spells or potions, but the magic of freedom to learn about what interests me and to believe what I want to believe, and be accepted for it. What I believed wasn’t wrong, and there wasn’t something wrong with me: for not being in a building; or wanting to have others around me when I worshiped; for not joining a coven; or participating in rituals and dogmas I found absolutely meaningless.

I could believe in a giant rainbow colored lizard, named Bob, who shakes a magic eight ball to decide the fate of the universe, and I’d still be Wiccan. The most important and freeing aspect of Wicca is I can do and think whatever I want just as long as it doesn’t hurt others. God/the Goddess/ Deity, whatever you want to call it, accepted me just as I was and filled that emptiness. I found serenity and security in the fact that I control my religion; it doesn’t control me.

I’ll end with these words of wisdom, as Mrs. Roosevelt says, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

I’d rather be damned by the world than damned by my own heart. I’m a witch because I found home and I’m not moving.


Footnotes:
Scott Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner
Raymond Buckland’s Complete Book of Wicca and Witchcraft
Ann Moura’s Green Witchcraft

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‘THINK on THESE THINGS’

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

James Russell Lowell once wrote, “No man is born into the world whose work is not born with him.” Each of us has been given a talent. It may not be some great shining thing that will attract attention and bring fame. But living has become so intricate, so great in detail, so fine in its workings, that it requires that skill of all men.

Every time we touch something, hear, see, and feel, we are using the results of other people’s talents. Too many take their own abilities for granted and see a task as just another job. But that isn’t true, because no matter how small your part may seem, it takes its place in the world of living as important and necessary as the greatest talent.

The secret of a successful talent is in its use. The most minute gift was put there for a purpose and we should never belittle it but gratefully devote our attention to developing its perfection.

There are a number of self-improvement books on the market today. Among them are excellent etiquette books teaching us the correct way of doing things and how to live more graciously with our fellow man. But one can be quite learned and lose the benefit of keeping the social graces with oneself.

You owe it to yourself to quit belittling your abilities in thought or word. Self-respect is a necessity in order to keep on good terms with oneself.

You owe yourself spiritual growth – the ability to enter a church reverently and to sit quietly in your own preparatory service before the formal service begins.

It is your duty to fill your mind with the better thoughts, the sweetening of the nature and a measure of tolerance – for you will make mistakes, but there should also be the power to forgive oneself, to go on from there.

To be on good terms with oneself is to worry less about violating the rules of good behavior with all others.

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 9

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 9

“In the life of the Indian there was only one inevitable duty, the duty of prayer, the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. His daily devotions were more necessary to him than daily food.”

–Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

The most important habit one can develop is the daily act of prayer. Prayer is our eyes, our ears, our feelings, our success, our guidance, our life, our duty, our goal. There really is only prayer and meditation. We can only help others through prayer. We can only help ourselves through prayer. You can never become an Elder unless you pray. You can never stay an Elder unless you pray. You never get wisdom unless you pray. You never understand unless you pray.

Great Spirit, today, teach me to pray.

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March 9 – Daily Feast

March 9 – Daily Feast

We are not always granted the privilege of going back and doing things differently. If we were, could we? We might if we had new knowledge. Otherwise, we would do the same thing we did before. It was all we knew. Every race has had its Trail of Tears, in fact, every individual has suffered and agonized over what he might have done. Gentle people hope that by cooperation things will work for all concerned. It isn’t in the hearts of the gentle to think that others do not have their same heartfelt ways. But challenges in the present times are sufficient without adding the past. If we know so much now, we need to use it. We can, sometimes, project ahead by looking back objectively to tap some reserve of knowledge. If we lack such inner knowledge, if we lack wisdom, we need to ask. And then we listen for the still small voice of direction.

~ Chief Ross led in prayer and when the bugle sounded and the wagons started rolling many of the children waved their little hands good-bye to their mountain homes. ~

PRIVATE JOHN BURNETT

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

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Daily OM – Children Of Mother Nature

 

Children Of Mother Nature
Trees And People

People are very much like trees needing to send our roots down for grounding and open our crowns toward the sun.

A tree that is beginning to grow sends roots down into Mother Earth even as it reaches and opens to the sky above, seeking nourishment from the sun and the moisture in the air and in the rain that falls. In the same way, we can envision ourselves as treelike beings, imagining that we have roots reaching down into the earth, energetic strands that keep us connected. At the same time, the crowns of our heads lift and open to receive nourishment from above. Just like a tree, we seek the sunshine and water we need to survive and thrive. Both trees and people serve as conduits for the intermingling of the opposite and complementary elements of air, water, sun, and earth.

We also share creative ways of growing, regardless of the challenges we come up against in our environments. Trees will even grow through rock, shattering it, in their effort to reach the air and light they need to survive. We are similarly resilient, with a built-in propensity for growth and the conditions that promote it. We find creative ways around the obstacles we confront as we move along our paths, moving toward the light that feeds us, just as trees grow around other trees and rocks as they make their way upward.

Contemplating the ways in which trees and people mirror one another brings us into alignment with the reality that we are part of Mother Nature. Our children, and the trees and their children, will live together on the earth as long as we all survive, sharing the elements and serving together to forward nature’s plan. Walking in a forest can be a meditation the interweaving lives of all living creatures and the planet on which we all take root and reach for the sky.

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