Waste and thoughts of the unborn child

As I was sorting trash this morning I was conscious of what I could put in the trash that would later go to a landfill and what could be recycled.

At 70 years of age, I sort trash by thinking of the unborn child. Am I helping to save Mother Earth from non-biodegradible trash that I simply throw away? I hope so. I know that Mother Earth is disrepected and we unconciously throw things away that will not break down during our life time or ever for that matter.

It makes me conscious that I am only one part of the whole and that I must make trash decisions for the future of mankind.



Today I read Corey Bradshow’s post on how land is being used for biodiversity. To learn more visit http://conservationbytes.com/2015/10/09/to-spare-or-to-share-that-is-a-muddled-question/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+ConservationBytes+ConservationBytes.com&blogsub=confirmed#blog_subscription-

Blood Moon Water Ceremony

Deep within the Catskill Mountains, on an isolated farm far from villages, towns and cities, I found myself on Prior family property. Coyotes were yapping and the lonely owls were calling. My sister-in-law had recently lost her husband. The farm itself is surrounded by mountains and there is a sense that the mountains hug one within. Nancy didn’t know about the Water Ceremony and she wanted to come outside with me to see the moon exclipse and learn from me. I told her about the ceremony and why the Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites offered Ceremony to the Water.

At first the moon was hidden by clouds and then briefly became clear and we noticed that the eclipse was already starting. Then another cloud bank moved in before her and soon once again she became visible and we saw that the eclipse was happening faster than we expected.

I placed saved Asemma and spent Sacred White Sage from prior ceremonies by a lone spruce tree. Then I offered the Nibi Wabo Ceremony in the covered moonlight. I felt the moon was happy with us paying respect to Mother Water. I always feel a sense of being loved when doing Nibi Wabo Ceremony. This feeling goes with me long after Ceremony. The next time I do Nibi Wabo Ceremony with Nancy, I will bring the translated words to teach her. This time she stood by my side and didn’t say anything. She was encircled by a hidden prayer shawl. We are both widows now, sisters in heart and learning about being sisters in soul. Aho!

I brought a bottle of Catskill water back to Saratoga Springs with me. I have already placed some in a water receptical by the front door. It is good to remember married water afterwards.

27 September 2015
Arkville, New York
Mary Ellen Ryall
Photo copyright Vince Prior blood moon copyright Vincent Prior

Gone Forever a Place by the Side of the Road

by Mary Ellen Ryall

Valerie Downes Lusko next to Mr. Wolf's sign, which has been removed. It is going to our new habitat at LCO Agricultural and Research Station.

Valerie Downes next to Mr. Wolf’s sign, which has been removed. It is going to our new habitat at LCO Agricultural and Research Station.

Recently, Valerie Downes, long-time friend, visited the former Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. What was once a remnant tall-grass prairie, dedicated as a Monarch Butterfly Habitat, is now a sandy dead-zone along side Highway 63 and the shores of Shell Lake. The habitat was dismantled in the summer of 2015. Pollinators and native plants were squeezed out and the habitat needed to be rescued. The paving of America and loss of habitat are two of the biggest threats to the precarious pollinator population. Once more, the paving of America is what ultimately destroyed the habitat.

Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit Environmental Education Organization and Public Charity hired helpers. A trailer and truck were brought in to physically rescue physical structures and plant communities before the giant plant killing machines came in. Officers and Board Members helped with the rescue mission. Long time volunteer Jim VanMoorleham helped empty out the garden shed, which was donated to the Maintenance Department of Shell Lake. The shed was built by Shell Lake carpentry class. VanMoorhelam moved memorial metal art and a few donated granite benches to Shell Lake Friendship Center. The seniors had been good friends to Happy Tonics. Donors picked up a donated pergola, art signs and memory benches. Otherwise they were distributed around Shell Lake in public areas at the beach. Large glacier boulders were also placed in other gardens throughout the city.

Valerie Downes Lusko Highway 63 was widened and would now encroach within the once blooming prairie. Parts of the habitat was going to be converted to additional paved parking space. Some thing had to go and it was the living beings that found refuge in the sanctuary. Nature would once again be asked to step aside. The life that existed consisted of migrating butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, deer, birds and an occasional bear. Instead of the chipper greetings to one and all, now there would be a deadened silence. All life that existed there disappeared.

At least a year before the transformation took place, the nonprofit sent brochures from Pollinator Partnership and letters to the City of Shell Lake, in the hopes of educating the City Council and Parks and Recreation Department about the pollinator crisis. Perhaps there might be a way for Shell Lake to move forward and protect the roadside pollinator haven at the same time.

In June 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum titled, “Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.” It is understood that the pollinator crisis has a long-term effect on local food supply and food security issues. Loss of habitat also means a loss of biodiversity and the creative economy.

Since 2008 the Monarch Butterfly Habitat thrived with native grasses, wildflowers, a wild black cherry tree and shrubs. In the beginning, the soil was disturbed and sandy, once being a parcel of land along side a railroad track. Before that it was prairie. Invasive species moved in and overtook the land. Throughout the years, Happy Tonics volunteers pulled out invasive spotted knapweed that spread when the ATV trail and Highway 63 spit seed from tires and when birds excreted.

In summer 2015, big machines and pipes for road work were spread along the ATV trail and the habitat was dug up to install telephone poles and natural gas lines. It was definitely disturbed ground now. Undisturbed earth is necessary for ground nesting bees. I wish you could have seen them. Common eastern bumblebees, European honey bees, carpenter and perdita native bees made the habitat home. The habitat was also abundant in common milkweed for the Monarch Butterfly, another species in decline, with a survival rate of only 10 percent.

With all the native plant colonies established within the habitat, life abounded. Even dragonflies came to visit from nearby Shell Lake. They preferred to rest on tall native grasses and plunder passing insects, such as mosquitoes. It was a joy to watch and photograph dragonflies resting on grasses; their colors sparkling in the sun. The habitat also became a meditation garden when people walked the grassy path and connected with nature.

Roadsides are among the few remaining areas for some pollinating species to live. Now there is less than one-tenth of one percent of prairie that remains. Other states such as Iowa are more progressive. In 1988 Iowa legislators established an Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) program. The state has reclaimed roadside habitats and the life that habitats provide. At the same time, Iowa is more conscious of herbicide use, mowing and other management tools.

There are side benefits of educating the public to protect pollinator habitat. Altering mowing can save money, reduce pollution and benefit pollinators. The advantage of no mowing does deter erosion. In the past, roads were thought of as utility corridors, but now the observant scientist and citizen scientist are seeing a rebirth of purpose being natural resources. Change comes slowly, but it is hoped that others will learn that highways and nature can become mutual friends. All life is connected one way or another. It is not up to us to destroy the balance of living harmoniously with nature.

Source: Wings, The Xerces Society, spring 2015

Nibi Wabo Ceremony

Last night the full moon was brilliant. I ventured out to a meadow to feel for the 2014-10-14 10.37.13right spot to start a Water Ceremony. Photo: Duck pond in Congress Park.

The meadow is next to the Saratoga Springs Community Garden and the wetlands at Wesley Retirement Community. There are 36 acres here of wetlands, woodlands and extensive landscaped sitting areas within shaded green spaces along with solid footpaths for easy walking. It is truly a lovely natural setting that I can explore and enjoy by myself. I feel safe here. Flowers are blooming everyswhere throughout the property. At night the grasshoppers are singing and darling small tree frogs keep my heart happy as they chant with me. Before I do Ceremony, I take the time to do Tai chi and Yoga to work out any stress that is being held in the body. Once I have cleared my own outer body auro of clogged energy, I am ready to begin.

First I lit a small dried branch of White Sage from California and purified with the smudge. Then I offered smudging to the seven directions. After this clearing, I put down sacred Assema that has been used in daily morning offerings. All gifts are returned to the earth. I had my birch bark clapping sticks and proceded to do the Nibi Wabo Ceremony. It is important to remember that as women we are the protectors of water. As more and more of the world becomes dried up, water is disappearing. In poor countries, the water situation is even more critical. When I think of a woman having to walk several miles a day just to obtain one vessel of water that she carries on her head back to the village, I think about the inner body that is mostly water. How are these people surviving with a critical shortage of water? This is a human tragedy story.

Water is not a commodity and yet profiteering companies go to poor countries and sell water to poor people. Whoever heard that one needed to buy water in a bottle?. Water is being treated as a commodity. This is a social justice issue. Water is a gift from the Creator. Water is for all species on the planet, not just humans and crops. The birds, butterflies, moths, large animals and fish, let alone all the Green Nation, must have water to survive. How can a planet full of people not realize that by emitting carbon dioide into the atmosphere, for money, people are doing so without paying attention to the consequences. We are depleting air and water around the world. The climate is at a dangerous level now because of Climate Change. We are living in perilous times for air and water. This is why we must offer water our love and respect. We need to remember her and celebrate her everyday of our lives. Just by focusing on one issue, one can change the world, at leaset in our own corner of the world.

There is a small water font near my front door. This allows me to rememeber water as I come and go throughout the day. I am centering my thoughts around water so that I am more intuned to the living presence of water. This is similar to a meditation. How could I ever forget thinking of the Beloved who gives me life?

Doing a chant with my clapping sticks in the seven directions all around me, above me, below me and within me, I am honoring water as a living Being. May we remember. It is in forgetting that the natural world is taking abuse beyond what anything should suffer. Let us rejoice that we are abundantly blessed and offer Ceremony for the gifts that we recieve. Starting with becoming conscious of water and remembering her as a conscous effort. Let us walk forward to becoming conscious everyday of our lives and not just on the appointed time set aside for Water Ceremony, on the Full Moon.

To women everywhere, I bless you and myself with an offering to Nibi Wabo.


Butterfly Woman
Photo: of full moon rising over the trees as it comes into full view in the meadow.

www.herbalkeeper2015-07-31 20.52.01s.com and www.butterflywomanpublishing.com

Wild Horse Medicine

American Pharoah  The truth is in our dreams. Real time is a disillusion. Dreams speak to us from the subconscience and come to tell us something. Many times we are unable to interpret our dreams.

Starting in 1990 I began to have periodic dreams about wild horses. The first time I dreamed I was with my dog Tia. We were hiking a new path on the horse trail, at the Ranch Club, in Southern Maryland. All of a sudden I heard the sound of thundering horse hooves coming towards us. We stood ever so close to the edge of the path in stillness as the horses came. An opening happened in the cliff directly on the other side of the path. All of the horses entered, except one. A magnificant shiny black horse came right up to me. I didn’ t know what he wanted, but I made myself stand still and pay attention. When I awoke I remembered the Vision. I think he came to tell me that I would shortly be leaving for northwest Wisconsin. I was going to be living a new breath and a deep Vision. This happened. I moved to Minong, WI, and started attending Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, in Hayward, Wisconsin. I had to learn new skills to be able to accomplish this fete. I was prepared because I knew this Vision was real and I was given this opportunity.

The next dream was of a brown horse that appeared in my father’s fields in Rock City Falls, New York. My half brother had been living at the farm and let the place go to ruin. I saw the house deteriorated. Yet, I saw this horse as happy and he came up to the front field near the road to greet me. I felt this dream was to let me know that all would be well at the farm. My half brother had now left the property and new owners were taking care of it. I saw that I could let go and move on. This property was beloved by me and I found it difficult to find myself left out of my mother’s will. It was painful that she gave the property to her love child and cut all the Ryall heirs out of the will. My father would have been horrified if he had known. He had always been fair to the youngest child. We all shared equally under his will.

The third dream was of a black horse right up to my face. He was talking to me. I don’t know what he said. I only know that he came to announce that something wonderful was going to happen to me. It has happened over and over again. My last friendship was with a horse person. I had the thrill of my life learning about horses and winning the Triple Crown.   The horses came to heal me and to offer me new knowledge. I am going to take my winnings and purchase a horse necklace in memory of my friend Henry Robinson, who left on June 18.

Believe in your dreams they do come to tell us of good fortune which can be bigger than our wildest dreams.

Ode to Henry Robinson

Henry Robinson  In the fall of of 2014, I made a new friend. Henry Robinson had a beautiful smile and happy presence. Many times I would see him in his wheelchair outside taking in the last of the sun rays before the warmth of the sun set. He loved being outdoors. This may be one of the reasons I was drawn to him. I worship the sun also, the gift of life.

Henry would come over from Wesley Nursing Home and I would see him In the Embury Cafe having a cup of coffee. It wasn’t long before I gravetated towards him because he had a smile that drew you in. Henry loved horses and he enjoyed talking about them. I didn’t have any previous knowledgeable with horses, outside of my love affair with Secretariat. Slowly but surely, I started to learn and become excited about one horse in particular. His name is American Pharoah. One day Henry needed to see the post line ups because we were going to bet on the Kentucky Derby. I said, “Don’t worry. I will take the bus downtown and pickup the Racing Form at Stewarts.”  I brought the form back and gave it to my friend. Later that day or the next he told me how the race was going to line up. I was ready to place my bet. Trouble is, I didn’t know how.

My cousin Jimmy and his wife Stephanie were taking me to dinner that evening. I asked Jimmy if he could take me over to the Racino and Race Track to bet on the race. I was embarressed that I didn’t know how. Jimmy took me up to the window and told the attendant that this was my first time betting at 70 years old. Both of them got a kick out of that. Well, my horse naturally won. It was a thrill. How many of them do we get at this age?

Next there the the Preakness Race and Henry and I had some lively discussions on how to play this race. Once again we both won. I was so excited that I had to call him up and let him know how grateful I was. He literally found it fun to see my enthusiasm. Oh what a happy soul he was.

Then the Triple Crown was next. By this time Henry was in intensive care. I called the hospital to keep abreast of him. In awhile he rebounded and was given a room. Then I could talk to him on the phone. Before the Triple Crown I had to go to Massachsetts. I was cut-off from communicating with Henry because he was not well. I went ahead and placed a bet via the computer using Off Track Betting. Again I didn’t know what I was doing but, I was going to give it a shot and bet on American Pharoah because this was the horse that Henry had faith in. American Pharoah didn’t let us down. He won the Triple Crown.

American Pharoah1Then a call came in, a family member was seriously ill, I had to leave Massachusetts and get back home. As soon as I got back I went over to Wesley Nursing Home to visit Henry. He was in his room. I knew he was ill because he was still in bed. I thanked him for the thrill of a lifetime. He smiled and said, “Oh we have some big races coming up this summer with the Travis. American Pharoah will be racing. Bob Baffet is bringing some good horses to Saratoga Springs this summer.”

That was the last time I saw my friend. I went over to the Wesley Nursing Home this past week because Henry wasn’t answering the phone. This is when the nurse told me that Henry was gone. He had walked on. I was broken up about my friend and went out to the garden for a good cry. At least he knew that he gave me the gift of friendship and excitment in our shared love of a magnificant horse. I don’t plan on ever betting again. This was a gift that Henry gave me. I will cherish this memory as it stands.

What spring means to me

2014-11-27 11.08.03April 12, the weather changed to warmer temperatures. This year is different though.

Normally I would feel my heart gladden with rebirth of life on the planet, but this spring has been more solemn. The passing of my friend has sobered me. I had given my friend the name Makwa ikwe. She said she was bear totem. My friend was in my life for the briefest of time. She give me an important message, “Slow down.”

I have come through the long hard winter and this spring I came out of hibernation alone, but with a message to live by and I honor my friend by remembering.

Wrote in memory of Lanise Coats who came into my life to connect as Kindred Friend and we made the very most of it. Blessings. Celebration of Life, April 25, One Roof, 433 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York.

Five Wesley residents and staff were there to pay tribute to a gifted Ascended Spirit.

To Everything There is a Season

“Through abstraction, we shape the world.  through art, we translate thoughts, intuitions, feelings, and intentions into actions that transform reality.

i was just looking at a diagram on the plane of the equinoctial

there are all these lines passing through the meridian
maybe its the same line even.. given different names
the true horizon the rational horizon the sensible horizon the sea or visible horizon
the celestial horizon.”
amanda1There is a spherical circle that is our life and energy. Amanda Sciullo
This is how it unfolded this past week. On the one hand a friend walked on and before she did, she sent another artist my way, someone young who appreciates teachers, after all I am an elder and we are the wisdom keepers. I found it fascinating. My new young friend is an artist also. She shows great Vision as an environmental artist. Amanda read my post on Water Ceremony and wanted to know the original Anishinaabe words and music. Grandmother Gladyce Nahbenayash had come to Lac Coure Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, years ago, and taught the woman who attended as part of the program on the environment.
DSCF6837-2-2  I will meet my young friend in June, when I travel to Fitchburg, MA. We plan to go to the woods where I know there are lots of birch trees growing. We will seek to find the appropriate size for clapping sticks so that she can make her own. We will hike to where the water flows and do Water Ceremony there.
Let the water talk to us. May we bless the water with honor, respect, non-wastefulness, thankfulness, kindness, and openness to water being a living Being that is meant for all species, not just the human species. Let us remember to love water who makes it possible for all of life on this planet to live.
Memengwaa Ikwe

Troubling Dreams

I have a new friend who is very ill. She is now at end of life. For the last two nights I have had troubling dreams. I believe that they are not my dreams as much as I have been experiFeatured imageencing her dream world. I dreamed that my husband quit his stable, secure position with the Federal Government in Washington, DC, where he was highly esteemed. Then I dreamed he worked for a private company and quit that position also. I started to feel these awful feelings of insecurity, vulnerability and stress. I realizied that my life depended upon me jumping back into the Rat Race and making contact. I needed to contact some of my former clients and line up work contracts so that life as I knew it could continue. I felt like I had fallen through the cracks.

It was an awful nightmare. Security means everything to me and I couldn’t believe my husband would be so out of his mind. How could he allow this to happen to us? Had he no regard for himself or his family? When I woke up I realized that this was a nightmare and that this was not my dream. My husband would never put us at risk like this. He was trustworthy, honest, exceptionally bright and tried to give me everything so that I would feel secure. He walked on 4 July 2010. On the other hand, my friend received nothing from her former husband. She was destitute in her old age. When I realized that somehow she was reliving her life and some of the mistakes she made, I realized she had more to do on this Earth before she left. She needed to forgive herself, him, and some of the family dynamics. She needed to make peace with her past, which was not a bed of roses.

I light candles for her intentions every day. I remember her and her family, which did not have healthy relationships. Hopefully now she is making peace with them, even though she is in an induced comma. At the same time, I had been teaching her a new vision. We did Native American smudging and Ceremony as I taught her how to greet the morning with love and gratitude. Yesterday I attended a Onondaga talk and documentary. We started off with thanking all our relatives, each in turn. I carried her with me in my heart yesterday so she would come to feel these blessings as we thanked big brother Sun for lighting our day. We thanked Nokomis our grandmother the moon. We thanked the Green Nation and all the insects, birds,  fish and animals that help us live. We thanked the trees, grasses, wildflowers and crops. We remembered that we must all live respectfully together and help each other. I sent her peace and surrounded her with love and Ceremony.

I light a candle this morning and hope that her transformation will go easy and that she can leave this world knowing that she has no regrets, that she has forgiven everyone with her heart, and that she feels at peace in her purpose her on this Planet, as she waits for her spirit to transform. She deserves tall of these blessings and becomes one with Source and Bliss.

Butterlfy Woman

Sometimes I have to wonder where my mind goes

Gideon PutnamIf you only knew how frustrating it can be to know a computer application one day and then the next don’t know why you can’t download photos from your iPhone. I had some great shots of a day trip yesterday to the Automobile Musuem in Saratoga Springs (SAM), New York. We also had a lovely lunch at Gideon Putnam Hotel, also in the Saratoga State Park.  We met with Brandon, the curator of museum. He is young and oh so knowledgable. The tour and transportation were arranged by the Saratoga Springs Senior Center. I didn’t think I would be interested in the exhibit so much, but it turned out it was thrilling. This is where history comes alive. I didn’t even know that New York State produced automobiles before yesterday.

I was mistakingly trying to download photos from my charger. What was I thinking? I had to walk away from the project and when I returned to my home office, I realized I had to connect my iPhone to laptop to download photos. But then it was too late. I had become so upset with my inability to do a simple task that I deleted all the photos from iPhone. It may be embarassang, but I have to take my own bitter medicine. After all I am 69 years old and I was wondering if I had dementia? See what I mean. I really felt I had lost all my marbles.

According to Saratoga Automobile Museum (SAM), New York State was once home to over 100 different automobile manufacturers. While most New York automakers were small, there were great successes like the Pierce Arrow and the Franklin. This exhibit provides an in-depth look at the automobile industry in New York State and a look back in time at the innovations of different New Yorkers in their quest to create the automobile of their dreams. It also examines New York’s role in importing European-made cars and custom-coach building. In the past, I have attended International Automobile Shows in New York City and I have always loved the Pierce Arrow. To see a Pierce Arrow in my own home town was exciting.

The present museum is located in the Sararoga Springs Bottling Plant.

SAM’s Website goes on to say, In response to the Great Depression, the US Government initiated programs to revitalize the economy. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his first year as governor of New York, pushed for the establishment of a state operated spa that celebrated the natural riches found in Saratoga water. Saratoga may have lost its bottling plant, but I am still drinking mineral water from Saratoga Mineral Springs and loving the renewed vitality I feel. I believe it has lowered my blood pressure because I now have normal readings.

Now I am back swimming again along the digital highway, but lost the nuggets and photos of yesterday. I will need to retrace my steps to the museum come spring and photograph another story then. Elders if you are reading this, take heart. All thngs are solved in time.

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