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Category Archives for "History"
4

Winter Solstice – why it’s the true New Year!

Winter Solstice is the day when light is reborn out of the darkness of winter. Our days start to become longer and lead us back to the beauty of spring and the warmth of summer, stretching towards their peak at the Summer Solstice.

Most ancient cultures celebrated this return of light and life with feasting, music, light and fire, and for many, it was the true beginning of the New Year.

It was so important to the pre-Celt ancients of Ireland that they spent over 30 years building a monument to the returning sun: Newgrange.

Older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, it was designed so that on the Winter Solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the inner chamber and for 17 minutes illuminates the chamber floor and the symbols etched on the back wall.

WHAT DID THE ANCIENTS KNOW THAT WE DON’T?

It’s hard for the modern mind to imagine spending 30 years building something to celebrate a three-day event. Yet, that’s how important the Winter Solstice was to the ancients.

There are still traditional cultures around the world today that believe that the ceremonies they conduct on a daily, monthly and yearly basis keep the earth spinning on its axis. I share their belief.

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2

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving prayers are common to most religious groups. Native Americans had entire ceremonies just for the purpose of expressing thanks – sometimes these ceremonies last for days.

This Thanksgiving Prayer comes from the Seneca Nation and is at least 500 years old.

It is traditionally done around a fire, with spiritual food on the altar. I have adapted it to be used as a Thanksgiving Prayer on our national holiday:

SENECA THANKSGIVING PRAYER

And now we are gathered together to remember the Great Mystery’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.

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3

Why Veterans’ Day just isn’t enough

This Veterans’ Day post first appeared November 7, 2012. I felt it deserved a repeat.

To me, Veterans’ Day, celebrated this Monday November 11, just isn’t enough to honor what our veterans have done for this country.

Although I am a pacifist, and was an active anti-war activist during the Vietnam War, I was ashamed of the way our veterans were treated when they returned home.

And I am still deeply saddened by the lack of support and care our veterans receive today.

Yes, war is horrendous, and perhaps if women were running the world there wouldn’t be any wars. But those who did their duty and fought for us deserve better than one day to celebrate them.

THE CURRENT CRISIS IN OUR MILITARY CARE

Suicides

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2

When elephants grieve

In 1998, prize-winning conservationist Lawrence Anthony purchased 5,000 acres of pristine bush known as Thula Thula in the heart of Zululand, South Africa.

He then transformed what had been a run-down 19th Century hunters’ camp into a wild animal preserve and a center for eco-tourism.

In 1999, he was asked to take in a herd of “rogue” elephants from another game reserve. These wild elephants were going to be shot if another home was not found for them!

Knowing he was their last hope, and against all odds of success, Anthony took them in.

The story of how Anthony rescued and rehabilitated the elephants by winning their trust, becoming their friend, and learning to communicate with them is described in his best-selling book, The Elephant Whisperer.

But the most remarkable part of his story may be what happened after Anthony died.

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5

There’s a little bit of Chernobyl in us all

I’ve been reading with alarm the stories of radioactive fish being caught in the Pacific Ocean as a result of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan in 2011. Including radioactive bluefin tuna caught recently off the California coast.

Fukushima is the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, both measuring Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Even after the initial radiation leakage that occurred in 2011 as a result of the earthquake and tsunami, the Fukushima plant has continued to leak radiation into the Pacific Ocean.

There are no signs of it stopping because Japan can’t even figure out why it’s leaking.

All fishing off the Fukushima coast has been banned by the Japanese government, though restrictions were eased in June 2012 allowing fishing of 16 types of marine life.

But here’s the thing: fish swim. And they can swim from Japan to the U.S. coastline. A bluefin tuna tagged by scientists was found to have crossed between Japan and the West Cost of the U.S. three times in 600 days.

Japanese and U.S. officials claim that the amount of radiation found in the bluefin is safe. But the overwhelming scientific opinion is that there is no safe level of radiation.

So there isn’t a consensus. But here’s what you can rely on: governments will lie to us and downplay the danger.

So we’re on our own and have to fend for ourselves on what to eat and how to stay healthy.

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6

Do you think God is male? Think again.

Do you think God is male? Think again.

If we go back to the original words spoken by Jesus Christ, God was not male; God was “Abba” or parent – non-gender specific.

God is not male. The world needs to accept that. And soon. Because the belief that God is male has caused more tragedy on our planet than perhaps any other notion.

Women are still struggling their way up from the subjugation caused by this male-oriented concept.

After spousal/child/animal abuse and bullying, nothing gets me more irate than hearing God referred to as “He.”

“The Lord’s Prayer” is a particular pet peeve of mine because it is not even close to what Jesus Christ would have said.

Before you get upset with me and stop reading, hear me out. My evidence goes back to the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus Christ.

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16

The history of the U.S. Constitution we weren’t taught in school

If you’re like me, I was taught in grade school that the U.S. Constitution was based on ancient Greek democracy. This is quite a stretch, since ancient Greece government was not democratic.

My research into what children are taught today about the origin of our government is also disappointing.

Apparently the founding fathers simply created it out of thin air, or were influenced by European governments. This depute the fact there was no democracy anywhere in Europe at that time.

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE U.S CONSTITUTION

The truth is that the U.S. Constitution is modeled in both principle and form on the Great Law of Peace of the Native American tribe known as the Iroquois.

This is absolutely, unequivocally historical fact.

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6

The nature of wolves and the nature of man

The nature of wolves is something the average person doesn’t usually give any thought to. And yet most Native Americans are very aware of the wolf nation, their gifts and their nature.

So I thought it would be worth a blog post. Because wolves are in great danger now, and they need our help.

My first introduction to the nature of wolves

Years ago, my very favorite TV show was “The West Wing” — a fictional show about what goes on behind the scenes in the running of the presidency and our country.

One episode that stands out in my mind was the fictional workday during which senior staff met with fringe special interest groups. Not the kind of special interest groups that have expensive lobbyists behind them. Special interest groups that have no money but a forward-thinking idea.

One might call them “seventh generation” ideas.

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What is the 7th Generation principle and why do you need to know about it?

Whenever I mention the 7th Generation principle to most people, they think I’m talking about laundry detergent. I’m always surprised that more people don’t know the origin of the term, so I felt it deserved a post.

The “7th generation” principle taught by Native Americans says that in every decision, be it personal, governmental or corporate, we must consider how it will affect our descendents seven generations into the future. So that the pristine sky, field and mountains in this photo will still be here for them to enjoy.

A generation is generally considered to be 25 years, so that’s 175 years.

It is clearly not embraced by most governments and corporations in the world today. I mean, when was the last time any of us thought about who’s coming along seven generations from now?

The 7th generation principal was so important to Native American cultures that it was codified in the Iroquois Great Law of Peace. To my knowledge, all Native American and indigenous tribes throughout the world embrace this teaching.

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6

Why An Open Mind is the Way to World Peace

My father taught me many wonderful things, mostly by example, which is the best way to learn. One of the things I most admire about him was that he had a very open mind and respected differing viewpoints.

That is refreshing in this day and age when people are quick to “unfriend” people who don’t see things the way they do.

I recall the time my father was at a football game sitting in front of someone rooting for the opposing team. His friend asked why he wasn’t upset about it and my father’s response was simply, “Well, that’s what makes a horse race.”

When I joined a cult in the 1970s, my father maintained a very open, wait and see attitude before judging me and my guru. In fact, he and my mother came to hear my teacher speak and to learn more about what I was involved in. I really didn’t know many parents who were doing that at that time.

In fact, my father told me about a conversation he had with someone critical of my guru:

Dad: Have you gone to hear him speak?

Critic: No

Dad: Have you spoken with members of his group?

Critic: No

Dad: Oh, so you’re an expert!

My father never hesitated to call it like he saw it.

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8

The Winter Solstice — Why It’s the True New Year

Winter Solstice is the day when light is reborn out of the darkness of winter.

Our days start to become longer and lead us back to the beauty of spring and the warmth of summer, stretching towards their peak at the Summer Solstice.

Most ancient cultures celebrated this return of light and life with feasting, music, light and fire, and for many, it was the true beginning of the New Year.

It was so important to the pre-Celt ancients of Ireland that they spent over 30 years building a monument to the returning sun: Newgrange.

Older than Stonehenge and the pyramids of Giza, it was designed so that on the Winter Solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the inner chamber and for 17 minutes illuminates the chamber floor and the symbols etched on the back wall.

It’s hard for the modern mind to fathom spending 30 years to build a monument for a 3-day event. What did they understand that we don’t?

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46

Prophecy of Crazy Horse

This was passed on by Chief Joe Chasing Horse, a relative of Crazy
Horse. He translated it from the words of a grandmother who was
present when the words were spoken.

This is a statement of Crazy Horse as he sat smoking the Sacred Pipe
at Paha Sapa with Sitting Bull for the last time, 4 days before he was
assassinated. Many of these words are often repeated. There is one
line often left out, that of the “young white ones”.

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2

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving prayers are common to most religious groups. Native Americans had entire ceremonies just for the purpose of expressing thanks – sometimes they lasted for days.

This Thanksgiving Prayer comes from the Seneca Nation and is at least 500 years old.

It is traditionally done around a fire, with spiritual food on the altar. I have adapted it to be used as a Thanksgiving Prayer on our national holiday:

THANKSGIVING PRAYER FROM THE SENECA NATION

And now we are gathered together to remember the Great Mystery’s first instruction to us: to love one another always, we who move about on this earth.

And the Great Mystery said that when even two people meet, they should first greet each other by saying: “Nyah Weh Skenno” which translates to “thank you for being” and then they may take up the matter with which they are concerned.

[Nyah Weh Skenno more literally means: “thank you for being alive in the here and now and not adding to the confusion of the world.]

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4

Why Veterans Day Just Isn’t Enough

To me, Veterans Day, celebrated this Monday November 12, just isn’t enough to honor what our veterans have done for this country.

Although I am a pacifist, and was an active anti-war activist during the Vietnam War, I was ashamed of the way our veterans were treated when they returned home.

And I am still deeply saddened by the lack of support and care our veterans receive today.

Yes, war is horrendous, and perhaps if women were running the world there wouldn’t be any wars. But those who did their duty and fought for us deserve better than one day to celebrate them.

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4

The True Halloween History: Honoring Our Ancestors

Most of us think of October 31 as Halloween, a time to dress up in costumes and make merry.

But it originated as so much more. In Celtic times, it was a time to honor those who have gone before us. The masked figures represent the spirits of the dead: our ancestors.

A WEE BIT OF CELTIC HISTORY

The ancient Celts, going back 4,500 years, divided each year into the dark half and the light half. The end of the light half was marked by Samhain [pron. Sow-ihn], a time when they were stockpiling food for the winter and giving thanks to the Sun God.

It is also a time of year when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest – an appropriate time to invite the souls of the dead to come back for a visit. Candles kept in the window guide the souls back home and a place is set at the table for them.

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What is Civilization?

Just what is “civilization?”

I asked myself that question after writing last week’s post about Christopher Columbus not being the first to discover the New World. And his still being celebrated for paving the way for Europeans to bring “civilization” to the west.

Will Durant spent 50 years writing “The Story of Civilization” and says that civilization is marked by four elements:

economic provision

political organization

moral traditions

pursuit of knowledge and the arts

The Native American societies of North America lived by the above principles for centuries before the arrival of Columbus.

Here’s my definition of civilization:

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6

The Myth of Christopher Columbus: First Illegal Alien

Imagine a foreign-speaking stranger, by the name of Christopher Columbus, walked into your house one day, claimed it was now his and threw you out, or even enslaved or killed you and your family.

Would you celebrate him with a national holiday?

Neither would I.

Yet the United States and other countries in the West continue to celebrate Christopher Columbus as having discovered the “New World” even though there was a perfectly marvelous civilization already living here.

[Columbus Day in 2012 is Monday, October 8 – a Federal holiday.]

My Lakota dad Wallace Black Elk called Columbus “the first illegal alien.”

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2

Hopi Prophecy of 2000

The following is the Hopi Prophecy of June, 2000 from the Hopi Nation:

You have been telling people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour. And there are things to be considered…

Where are you living?

What are you doing?

What are your relationships?

Are you in right relation?

Where is your water?

Know your garden.

It is time to speak your truth.

Create your community.

Be good to each other.

And do not look outside yourself for your leader.

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4

Hopi Prophecy, the Mayan Calendar and the Weather in 2012

Ancient Hopi prophecy warned of a time of “earth changes” – a great cleansing involving all four elements. The Mayan Calendar also calls this a time of transformation. Might they explain the interesting weather we’re having in 2012?

Is it a scary thing, or part of the natural evolution of the planet and our consciousness? Let’s take a look.

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