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.

Memengwaaikwe

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.
Aho,
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.

Namaste,
Butterlfy Woman
www.butterflywomanpublishing.com

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.

A tree through history

It all started as a child. I used to go to Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, New York, to sled. My father knew how much Saratoga memories meant to me as I grew older and worked afar. In 1982, he took pictures of Union Avenue where canna arrangements line the avenue in August. At the bordor of Circular Drive on Congress Park and Union Avenue there was always a spectacular flower arrangement. Often it was shaped like a horseshoe, or words would have been spelled out in flowers. Always a stunner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne photo I looked at yesterday showed the trees that stood directly behind the arrangement. They were there to provide a privacy screen for the park and the road that went no where in front Canfield Museum. Last week I was riding on a local bus and while I was talking to a young Skidmore student who knew tree chemistry, the bus driver Pat said, I have a tree story.

He said, “I was driving along Circular Street when I noticed a piece of a pine tree that was cut down. It called to me. It was shaped like a heart.” He continued,  “I asked a young man on the bus to get off and get it for me. The piece is now under a seat. I want you to take the piece home. I am supposed to give it to you today.” At first I declined, but then I realized it meant something to not only the driver, but that it had a message for me also.

seed bombYou see, I had a sacred tree long ago in the foreest in Southern Maryland. It was in a Chesapeake Ranch Estates, in Lusby.  Tia, my dog, and I used to walk the horse trail a few times a week. Within this forest was the sacred tree. I won’t write about it now or this story will be too long.

Anyway, I took a beautuful part of a branch that fell from the tree. I loved the virgin wood that was exposed. The fragrant wood ended up being part of an alter that I maintained in Minong, WI. The tree always spoke to me. Tia and I would go visit the tree, before the branch fell. It was a large tulip tree and was burned by lightening fire long, long ago. This had significance for me because it meant that the medicine of the tree was strong. In Southern Maryland, after I brought it home, I kept it under a shed out of the rain, wind, and snow. There was no place in that house to display it. The house in Minong, WI, however, had a fireplace mantel and it was here where I placed the beautiful shaped wood and set up my alter and lit a candle in the morning to do morning offering.

The Eno River in full bloom.When it became time to leave Wisconsin in 2012, I knew where I was moving to had no place for the alter. I had to leave it behind, along with several other sacred objects. I won’t name them. I took the wooden alter and sacred objects to a place near my home where several women and I would get together and do sacred water cememony. This was a sacred site to me and no one knew of it, expect those I brought there. It was here I did my last Water Ceremony and bid goodbye in the last ceremony. I placed the alter here among the sand dunes and Jack pine that was moving in. These sacred objects had been part of my life in Venezuela and Peru. These were objects that I carried with me after I no longer lived in South America. They had been part of my life since the 1970s.

In Saratoga Springs, I don’t have a sacred wooden alter. This wood is about the right size to place on a wide window ledge. Once again I will have sacred wood around me. I can smell the beautiful scent of pine in my bedroom now as the wood ages. In January, I will give it to a woman who’s husband is a master workworker. He wll sand it down and put a light protective coat on it.

Isn’t it amazing how Creator comes to us and offers something that is highly significant to each of us? I am honored to know this young man, Pat, the bus driver and to know he recognized the importance of the story, even though he hasn’t heard anything about why.

Blessings from the other side

This morning I touched a handmade piece of art glass because my friend Worth Cooley-Prost made it. Then I was clearing

out some old greeting caFeatured imagerds and I found this note from Worth. She has walked on, but she left these words behind.

14 April 2013

“The Circle of Light in this piece were cut from glass placed under the sheltering arms of the Grandfather Oak that cover part of the balcony outside our room – on the day of the full moon eclipse in June 2012, thorough the [Venus not sure of word] transit the next day, and through sunrise the day after that –

Net of Light made for Mary Ellen with love and gratitude Worth Cooley-Prost 2012

The other piece like this, cut side by side from the same glass, was made for Grandmother Whitedeer.”

Grandmother Whitedeer is the founder of the Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites. Worth was a member. I am a council guide of the Sisterhood.

Love and light,

Worth

NOTE: I do believe in the Veil of Light from the other side. Worth is surely doing her blessed work from the other side. I can’t help but think she is very close to us from afar. The photo of glass animals were made by Worth also.

Happy Thansgiving Blessings,

Mary Ellen

Edward Curtis film and discussion at Skidmore College

Tonight was the first time I ventured out into the night alone here in Saratoga Springs, New York. I wanted to attend a program at Tang Museum and Art Gallery, at Skidmore College. The bus comes by my building and so I rode to next stop, Skidmore College. I attended the Film Screening and Discussion, “Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians.”  I saw first hand the sacrifices Curtis made in order to capture the Native People of the west. He didn’t bother to photograph east coast Native People because they were now influenced by settlers. Out west, it was still pristine and primative. Curtis felt that  Native People would disappear because of white settlers and he desperately wanted to capture a noble people.

Ian Berry, Tang Museum Director, and Jill Sweet, retired professor of Anthropology, led a discussion about their experience in co-curating the 2002 Tang exhibition, “Staging the Indian: The Politics of Representation,” which featured work from Skidmore’s extensive holdings of Curtis’ work.  I had no idea that Skidmore College had this vast collection, which is currently not available for view. It is held at the library and only a handful of professionals have seen it.

There are  going to be further programs as part of Saratoga Reads!. One of the books read was The Round House, about the Ojibwe people and the topic was rape. It is a very sensitive subject because a number of tribal women are victims of violence and rape on tribal land, and yet it is not talked about in the open. There are many secrets. A young man tries to find out what happened to his mother and why doesn’t the tribe come out in the open and do something about it. He tries to find the answers himself within his culture. It is a brave thing for  Louise Erdrich  to bring this subject out into the open. She did so brilliently.full moon

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