Friday, November 06, 2009

Aboriginal Sicily

I am spending a few days in Catania, the eastern city of Sicilia. It is a charming and interesting city. Very close to my B&B there is the old castle of this ancient city. Last night they started an international folk music festival, so I wandered over to see what is was like. I immediately saw three aboriginal Australian people in the crowd and made my way over to them to say hello.

A few minutes later this elder stepped up and played this instrument. It was quite the blessing, quite the surprise. Later I spent about an hour talking to his sister. I will have more on this later. Video was recorded with a Nokia E-71 mobile phone.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Stolen Land || Welcome to Native American Awareness Month 2009

In my mind, what has always been important has been how a human being can connect with the direct power of the mother earth, stuffed with a type of consciousness that is fully informed. In Ojibway culture we sometimes call this type of person an eight-sided character.

I have a sense that eight-sided characters exist in some small but unknown number.

I am the Keeper and Protector of the Four Directions Unity Bundle. It is perhaps the only American Indian Sacred Bundle in the history of the world which contains so many inter-tribal sacred objects.

It contains 18 sacred pipes, from 18 sacred tribal people. It contains eagle feathers, sacred pottery, weavings, carvings, rattles, sacred drums, bones, songs, silences and movements from tribal medicine people, keepers of sacred, protectors of the ancient future. This bundle, as we say, is my only client. This sacred bundle is my life’s work. I am the one who went there and face to face and heart to heart received these sacred promises and objects from American Indian actuals.

I have the eight-sided responsibility to understand what this bundle means, and where it should travel. I have the eight-sided responsibility to remember what the sacred people said to me. I am a Wabeeno.

You are all standing on stolen sacred ground.

You are all standing inside my dreams. Every bilions of you. I am not afraid of you. I am the one who has made my life. I could feel the waiting world. You are the waiting world. the waiting world has made this sacred bundle I carry in their dreams. The Four Directions Unity Bundle is the undreamed, the unsong, the unspoken prayer that rests, waiting, inside your soul.

Notes from Correction Way ceremony, world version. 2009.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

WOJB - Woodland Ojibway Radio

This is a little radio station operating from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.Sometimes the program lapses into Ojibway language. It is a small public radio station with a lot of spirit. The do a good job. They do not have enough money or support to run Ojibway culture 24 they fill out other program sections with all sorts of offbeat public programming sections. One day, a local DJ brought in tapes he made of his Big Band era 78 vinyl LPs. They occasionally offer long songs and segments of good tribal American Indian music.

Attached is an interview with Ojibway elder Harold Frogg. Not many places where you can hear Ojibway elders talking about what is on their mind. This is from the Podcast library.

To check out WOJB, follow this link......

They interview American Indians. Right now, some important ceremonial leaders have been interviewed about the Arizona sweat lodge event which has become well-known among American Indians. The local American Indians up that way seem angry about what they perceive as the abuse of this purification ceremony. There is almost nowhere else in America where you can hear what voices in the American Indian community are saying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

James Arthur Ray || the anti-self

James Arthur Ray and Sedona Arizona

Warning. Reality may be further away than it seems in Sedona Arizona.

Sedona is the world capital for pretenders, imitators and self-worshiping. I have a long history and knowledge of Sedona Arizona and its endless parade of thieves like James Arthur Ray. In recent years it has become such a spoiled and lost blackhole in the desert southwest that I would never return there. Everybody in Sedona is (they believe) a sacred person, a sweat lodge leader and a pipe keeper. Why not? User beware.

Anyone who has three first names, and uses them to speak about himself, should always be viewed with suspicion. Tribal elders would rarely even look in the direction of a person holding and using such a name. This is the first warning sign. Yes, in this case I am using names. I am responsible for my words. This man's behavior is so offensive, it begs to be called by name.

James Arthur Ray is the ideal poster boy for everything that is immoral, incorrect and abusive of the teachings and sacred property of American Indian cultures by modern people, by the so-called new age.

1. Cost. the tribal elders prohibit profiteering from tribal ceremonies. There are no exceptions to this rule. It is acceptable to gather money for expenses and keeping the bills paid. This is a capitalist society after all. However, such extreme fees, even for the rich, are vulgar. They are a corruption of the intentions and implicit beliefs of the tribal elders.

2. James Arthur Ray does not have the permission or support of any American Indian, living or dead, to hold American Indian ceremonies.

3. No qualified sweat lodge leader would ever put so many people inside a ceremony. It is not a ceremony for large groups.

4. Presently, tribes do not have the authority to arrest or seek litigation from people who are stealing and corrupting American Indian sacred teachings. The elders rely upon a common sense form of reasoning. Doing the right thing. This man is a thief. Everyone like him is a thief. It is tragic that a loss of life has come from his behavior. He does not care about this. What price will he pay? What price does a thief pay when he sits before the mirror of the soul?

5. Bad information. Why would 64 people arrive at a ceremony by James Arthur Ray? Does the victim, by refusing to be informed at all, even in common sense, have some responsibility for their suffering?

6. Why are the media, citizens, publishers and governments so reluctant, even unwilling, to talk directly to tribal leadership? And by tribal leadership I do not mean gangsters and media whores, but keepers of sacred bundles, ceremonial elders, medicine society and tribal clan society leaders? Those sacred people are standing on their own two legs right on the same earth as these thieves and liars are standing.

7. Mistaken Identity. James Arthur Ray is not important. Personalities are not the point in an American Indian sweat lodge ceremony. This sacred teaching is personality independent. ANY American Indian teaching that is marketed as the work of a "special" person is a lie. A sweat lodge is a sacred experience for the soul of human beings. Over my 30 plus years of conducting sweat lodge ceremonies, I rarely even ask the names of the participants. It is not a teaching about personalities. Only modern religions have a (fatal) fascination for "personalities".

If you ever have a sweat lodge with a seventy year old nameless American Indian in some unnamed wilderness, you will understand the difference. All the money in the world, and all the "special gifts" of a typical ego-maniac and his cult of followers cannot find that sacred man or know that sacred place. If, instead, they act out and pretend and imitate, they have nothing. I think this is clear enough. It is up to you to understand the difference.

Tribes, I must admit, should carry some responsibility for this problem. The US Government has not yet allowed American Indians to sue or seek injunctions against people like James Arthur Ray. Freedom Of Religion seems to be the root cause. As I write this, I understand that tribes have been reluctant to test this hypothesis. Perhaps injunctions could be granted, but the tribal leadership has never tried. Until tribes at least try and help solve this problem, they also have some responsibility for their suffering on this matter. On the other hand, other religions do not have people running around pretending to be a Rabbi, Priest or Imam.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Great Indian Wars || DVD Toxic Release image (art) ©2009. Turtle Heart

The Great Indian Wars
2005. Now circulating the internet p2p, torrent and avi networks. 

Recently released as a DVD boxed set.

Bci / Eclipse || 235 minutes || ASIN: B000ALM4IA

Viewer warning |
Facts in this video series are farther away than they may seem in your monitor.

The only Good Indian is a Dead Indian. While they don’t say this out right, that seems to be the implicit message in this terrible 5-part series now making the rounds….no it was not made in 1950, as the attitudes would suggest, but is in fact a contemporary and one-sided look at the wars with the Plains tribes, north and south.

While the film claims to be about all the so-called Indian Wars, they have virtually nothing to say about the wars with the Spanish on the west coast and southwest. What is talked about is so unbelievably one-sided that I was taken by surprise.

The production is entirely contrived, a running narrative with pasted in film clips from bad movies, hobbyist re-enactments and entirely un-credited illustrations from who knows where.

There are a very few comments by people loosely identified as “historians”, but who look more like random beer-buyers in the local 7-11.

If there is a more one-sided, paranoid and phony story about the American Indians and the invading Americans, I have not yet seen it or heard about it. There is not a single positive American Indian voice anywhere in this series. This film seems like propaganda. They praise the virtues of butchers like Sherman (the US civil war general), and the lunatic Custer as if they were heroes who saved the country from a terrible fate. The murder, assaults, theft and destruction of the American Indian culture is seen as a justified and righteous manifest destiny. The most useful revelation was how dedicated the leadership of the US Military to decimate the tribes, their culture, property and beliefs. This part they make perfectly clear along with the fact that the American Civil war introduced a serious quantum upgrade to the character and destructive potential of the weapons used against the savages.

There are a lot of highly questionable maps that are used to claim to understand who all the American Indians are and where they came from. There are numerous errors as well as outright false information contained in the narrative. One of these cultured facts is the assertion that “as many as 23,000 American Indians” were killed in these wars. This is the lowest attribution I have ever heard.

As we gain even more distance in time and memory as to the clashes and struggles between the modern Americans who came to North America and took by force, murder and lies the homeland of another culture, it is tragic that films like this will probably be studied and taken seriously by students interested in this period. The tragedy of this series is that it was made by thoughtless people with zero interest in understanding what is true.This is happening even as we see more and more openness in telling the truth about WW 2 and so many other historical events really going all out to cover all sides of those events.

I wonder how the Jewish people, for example, might feel if Hitler’s friends made their version of the story of the killing of so many Jewish people? As an American Indian, that is close, I expect, to how I felt watching this series. If I were making a film like this I would show it to the American Indians to see what they thought of it. Maybe they should have shown this film to an audience of psychologists before releasing it. While, every now and then, some modern people struggle at great expense and rivers of good intentions to come to terms with its history and its American Indian bodies still living on this earth, it is rare that accuracy, fairness or honesty is the result. I am not entirely sure I understand why this is. I have very little confidence or belief in the majority of video material I have seen on the subject of American Indians. Perhaps it is because it is also rare for any of these well-intentioned and financed people to actually know any living, informed and initiated American Indian people. Hey ! I wonder why that is? They can be found. I seem to remember most of the American Indians were rounded up more or less and put onto little rectangles of land called reservations. Perhaps that is it. All of these efforts seem to be the view of the distant stranger, the voyeur who knows no one, touches no one yet has to much to say about what they think they see.

It is not easy to understand what the intentions of the producers are in this series. If their intention was to create a sound historical document, they have failed completely. While it would be unfair to say everything about this film is bad, the truth is so much is wrong with it, that is the only choice I feel that is left to me, as a reviewer in this case.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Name Ceremony || Recovering

Over the last week, we held a name ceremony for one friend who lives in the middle of Italy. Long Arrow (Dreaming) was the name she was given. She is a gifted dreamer, quite a unique dreamer. However, a good name is not a reward, but a map to new information about who you may be and where yo may be able to go in this life.

Name-giving is a serious task. A ceremonial namer can be an American Indian of many flavors, styles and methods. name giving is ancient. for many of the more ancient tribes, some level of ceremonial naming is an essential element of their original instructions.In the culture of the Ahnishinabeg, the Ojibway, receiving the name is one of the eight sacred rites of Initiation into the sacred rituals and objects, the Mide-Wi-An Society, Wabeenos and Jessakids, those persons educated and experienced in the ceremonial rites of knowledge, medicine and dreams.

Inside this world the tools of long singing, long drumming, and dreaming together in the night add a dimension to that name. inside the mystery life, inside sacred ritual space, you are that name. Your journey into the mystery life is as that named person and not as the person named by your family.

Almost everyone has distant, ancient ancestors who worked hard, or went through something spectacular, and received a new name. the naming is within the cycle of teachings we call the original instructions.

Most American Indians today have accepted the names imposed upon them by the United States government in the management of the Federal American Indian Reservation System. Many of the American Indians who are close to their original instructions have various names either as a result or in imitation of this long and ancient tradition. However, even today, most American Indians use the names imposed upon their families by the United States Government. As a young man, one of the first acts of returning to and recovering my tribal ancestors was to understand through vision quest, long travels and many ceremonies, what my name really was and is. I called the act of finding this name an act of restoration.

This Long Arrow (Dreaming) is a brave woman who is trying to wake up. Inside her struggle is the memory of a sacred dream, a dream of power and beauty. Every human being has had this dream. Learning how to awaken inside this dream is the work of the sacred ceremonies of the Four Directions Unity Bundle. the name was given from the sweat lodge, the water drum, the morning tobacco fire, corn pollen, tobacco, songs and silences. At the end of the time the name was given. We closed everything out with a long song around the big drum that Tewa tribal elder Red Shirt made for me so many years ago.

You do not have to be some kind of American Indian to receive a name in this tradition, by these ancient methods. We have always said that when one person finds their way inside the mystery life, inside that sacred circle of time, song and smoke, well, then they are not indians or men or women or anything but a human being trying to open their heart right there on the earth at that moment and receive and understand the truth. It is not a moment for sissies or fools. It is in fact a gateway, an opening into another use of time, space and in realizing who in the world you might be on this mother earth. the old Indians always told me it could happen just this way.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nurse Jackie | Edie Falco

A new Showtime series, starring Edie Falco. I download episodes to my computer. At first I was initially interested in Edie Falco. She is an interesting character herself and through her character is really an exceptional actress. A good actor takes us on a journey, and compels us to come with them. I was in the medical profession for some years, though now many years ago. This is a series where Edie Falco portrays an emergency room nurse. The rich complexities of her characters life are balanced by her direct and take no prisoners response to her responsibilities and vices. I am really impressed by this new medium for a gifted artist to use the acting arts in this interesting and powerful way. The stories are interesting. The central figures of the cast are women, each a jewel in their own right. The central men are an interesting mix of fools, gay men, heroic and poetic heterosexuality. In this sense the inter-social weaving of this setting is as artful as the acting. Nurse jackie shows us the system…the medical system, the insurance system, the uninsured, the immigrant, the pompous, the noble dead and dying. This is a matrix one could easily surmise of all the best elements for art and talent to flourish. The window we have moves from humor to horror to sarcasm to revelation to mediocrity that comes from gifted staff and crew efforts. The whole effort is very satisfying….and goes by quickly. Episodes run about 55 minutes, but it goes by so quickly I had to check to be sure.

The acting arts and film making are great tools and refuges in the mystery life, in a good life, in an open society. A good film is one of societies treasures. I have not written many reviews of film. I do watch films and really enjoy the experience sometimes. Most of the time I am disappointed or unimpressed or just nonplussed by what is made available. I really like Edie Falco. I am happy to see her take on a new project, be recognized, and invite us to come with her. If you watch television or download video from your computer, I would check this new series out.

Hopefully within the year there will be subtitles and local language versions of this show available. I have been watching the English episodes, now in the 5th episode of season one.

I do not have a television, not for some years now. I do enjoy films and video and have followed a few of my favorite shows using the internet, which is now pretty easy to do. I invested in a good 24 inch monitor for my computer and this makes a good viewing experience for two people.

I find I like using the Internet to find films and videos more and more. With high speed internet you can get what you want, even experiment if you like. In recent years the whole experience of selecting for yourself what you want to watch in the media has made a huge impact on the take what we give you network system that I grew up with for nearly sixty years.

I found this new show just by word of mouth in Internet reviews, so I am doing the same and passing along the news. If you like real life served up with spice, character, wit and just an edge of the forbidden, Nurse Jackie is a gem.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Breaking || Republican Party Reorganizes

"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Troubled by dwindling membership and numerous setbacks, the 155 year-old Republican Party filed for financial, intellectual and moral bankruptcy and announced its reorganization as a tax-exempt church. The new GOP will be officially called The First Church Of Jesus Loves America And Latter Day Lower Taxes Anti Foreigner Old Time Heterosexual Do As I say Not As I Do Affluence Ministry Hoop N' Hollerin' Revival Gun Lovin' Banker's Club Outreach Hootenanny, Inc but will still use the name "Republican Party" for most functions." (Lee Stranahan). Find out the details here....

Friday, June 05, 2009

(Departure) the Faithless Void ||

The Faithless Void || Murdering the Truth

The tremendous reception and importance of the words of Obama, June 4th, are having around the world are one thing : clear evidence of how strongly the citizens of the world are hoping for change of the status quo, in every direction. People at the top to nameless dogs at the bottom of society are all hoping everything will change. To change the world you need to just stand up and move forward, taking responsibility for yourself and the powers of choice that you posses. To the right the foaming dogs of discontent wring their hands and throw shit at every word. Their poison is their drama, and they are the queens of the anal empire which we see on Fox news. Such cowards thrive on good news and hope, something they can poison. The most popular television in the ameriKa. Elsewhere the police say they are looking for an assassin who has written Obama’s names on the righteous bullets. They say they can’t find him. Nearby Dick Cheney tells us that he saved the world by torturing muslim criminals. I wonder when someone will erase him, or at least arrest him. The last eight years of rule by white texas trash leaves a lingering odor in the world.

Often, in the middle of the night I am unable to sleep. All around my life are the fruits and jewels of the sacred life, the promises of those distant beginnings when all life was sacred and there was peace in eight directions, the history of the beginning of my tribal ancestors, of the original life. Once I was sustained by these things, carried by them into the unknown world.

I rise sleepless in a wide world of cowards and liars, murderers, thieves, liars and people without souls. Some of the people are American Indians, some of them are Jews, others are catholics or Republicans, or Muslims, or workers, sometimes the idle rich. Sleepless in a land of Italian corruption, dominated by communist police and absent the human rights we once dared called freedom. I sleep dreamless in a land without leaders and eat at the table of poisons and garbage laid on a plastic table by yet more thieves and profit-mongers and liars. We voted them into office.

I walk streets of the world paved with emptiness, carrying people without lives or hope to places that never existed across lands stolen in blood from those who passed here before me.We are the children of the lies, the crimes, the blood and terror of those soulless dogs who made our world in their image. People of conviction, education and opinions. They dress very well and all of them have iPhones.

I no longer believe in tribes, religions, communities, governments, churches or leaders. I don’t believe in eyephones. I believe only what is before me, what I can lift with my two hands and sense with my own eyes wide open.

The modern media continues to create the fear which they pass over as truth. They are professional, well paid liars and thieves, deranged people who know nothing acting out in front of cameras to tell stories about the American Indian on PBS. People who know nothing see this trash and think it must be true. When you look at who the writers, producers and money people are, you see only white people…white people who willingly allow themselves to elevate liars and cowards, lonely desperate poor people, into a light which has no illumination and which casts longer and longer shadows onto the lives of real people. They do this with every American Indian issue, with issues of the Mexicans, Gypsies, Jews women, and all the other struggling minorities who have lost control over their own histories, languages and lives. The main stream media has never once told a true story about the American Indian. Ever. It seems an accident if they tell us the truth about anything.

Like many of the Old Indians I have imagined some way to avenge the murder of our tribal ancestors. Like many American Indians I find it difficult to forgive modern society for its crimes against the sacred, against the ancestors, against the land. I have known, however, all along, that there is only one way to fight back. I know my anger and pain must be directed into the sacred. I know my revenge must be made entirely of love. I know the sacred of the sacred pipe and the mystery life teachings of compassion are the only weapon at my disposal. I have known this all along. In the darkness I have only the power to reach for the light or close my eyes and be still inside the darkness. I am learning to fight back without fighting. It is not easy, but it is more satisfying.

Sleepless again that night I dreamed I had a big red cadillac which I drove around into the countryside, the wild desert of california. I drove all night, drinking beer. The next morning my wife told me I sang indian songs all night. I watch the sun come up, out of the corner of my eye I see the full moon setting over the emerald sea and make pasta. This dream has replaced the dream I had for many nights when I did sleep where I had a big 18-wheel truck and in the back was a small sacred fire, which I was driving around the world. I miss the truck.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vecchio Mulano

The Old Cantina || Founded 800 A.D.

In the last few days I went to Tuscany. there we met a so-called famous Alchemist who gave us a feast and later we drank an alchemical extraction in alcohol of pure gold, as a shared meditation. This was quite interesting as a meditation. The so-called famous alchemist was more or less an empty bag of mostly water. A man apparently incapable of listening to anyone, interested in nothing but the sound of his own voice. I found him shallow and false in every respect. He seems to be one of those people, so numerous on this earth, who really knows not much but is good at the BS behavior. He is very famous in Italy but his name is hardly worth mentioning. It was quite tedious listening to his diatribe about how great he is. He offered our small group the magical gold extract in plastic cups. I alone refused. I told him I do not believe the truth can be served in a plastic cup. He got up and found me a wine glass, and so I alone had the magic drink in glass. He seemed to have no idea at all about how to present such an opportunity. The dozen or so other people present were all doctors, potential clients of his famous extracts- So I learned it was not so much a ceremony (which is what i thought it was) as a sales pitch for his products. Sometimes even fools do something good by accident, in the same way that a broken clock is right twice each day for a moment. I was not surprised at this broken attempt at pretending to the sacred. It is something i have seen more often than I can count.

The real fruit of the journey was that we stayed in a charming historic old hotel for several days in Tuscany. Tuscany is a magical place. The food and wine are legendary and deservedly so. On the last day of our trip we went driving into the high mountains around Tuscany. These mountains have the famous white marble and we saw magnificent white marble mountains, the very place where Micaelangelo gathered his stones for his masterpieces of sculpture.

In one small village we stopped at an interesting old cantina. A place where you come in and sit down and they serve you little bites of the local food in fruit, cheese, meat and vegetables. It was quite a magical place. We ended up meeting Andrea Mulano, the owner. He tells us the cantina has been in the same building, serving this food and wine since the year 800. He is the man in the photo above. Next to him is his sister, Cinzia. Their family has operated this cantina, this house of wine and food for 1,200 years. Think of that! This big man was everything the famous alchemist will never be. His blessing was worth more than all the gold we consumed in the plastic house of plastic knowledge of the famous wise man. His sister was charming. Together, in this small cantina in a tiny village in the mountains they offer the true sacred magic of Tuscany, of the ages, of the true divine spirit of great humanity. What a contrast. Andrea has some good English. He says he picked it up some years ago when he visited Napa Valley. I was very impressed and touched by his kind and loving spirit-

Sometimes when you look for what is wisdom, and what is a treasure, you find it in the most unlikely and humble place....and almost never in the golden tower where everyone says it is. I enjoyed drinking the gold, even though I had to endure three hours of bullshit from the stuffed shirt wise man. I will treasure forever my two hours drinking wine, eating the treasures of Tuscany, drinking the wine and talking to Andrea Mulano and his sister Cinzia.

We are thinking to move away from Pantelleria and feel Tuscany would be the perfect new home for our sacred work. It was a rewarding trip.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

PBS Propaganda Archives "white"-washes tribal history (again)

The American Experience || We Shall Remain
PBS Series, airing in five parts. Check your local listings.

With enormous fanfare, abundant grants and the absolute hype of the white-controlled media, a nasty series of propaganda fantasies about American Indians has been rolled out onto our televisons to praise, awards and accolades of the “true” story of the American Indian. This highly speculative, and largely manufatured fairytale is presented as if it is truth. Though few to no real facts are available on these subjects, the series unfolds from the beginning, middle and end as if everyone knows what really happned, even though it is cerain they did not.

They tell no stories of the medicine society people, of the keepers of the sacred, of the Kiva or the Sacred Pipe. Once again they go to the well of sensationalism and perpetuate the lies of criminals like Rusell Means and sensational killers like Geronimo. While pretending to tell some sort of true story about the American Indian, they draw up the same old chiches, sterotypes and pointless bullshit which the white media has been spewing for 400 years. Nothing has changed. It has just become more slick, better produced and presented in such a way that a reasonable person who knows almost nothing about the American Indian will accept as “true”.

One would like to say kind things about such a lavish and well-connected effort to tell some sort of story about the American Indian. The list of sponsors, grants, consultants and donors is truly impressive. There is even a dual cast of actual American Indian people. On one hand there are the actors who act out for us the narrative. On the other hand there are present descendants and relatives of the American Indians being talked about adding their scripted comment. There are scripts, producers, wardrobe and many “reenactments”. It all has a lot of polish and is a highly professional presentation. The scripting, however, is the problem. There is a lot of conjecture and guessing (and imposition) of historical events posing as facts. People who are not very well versed or knowledgeable in tribal history and information will think what is being said represents truth. There are no disclaimers that it is all speculation. This absence of clarification is a serious shortcoming.

Given the credentials and resources of the production professionals, one can wonder why the focus Is so narrow. The rich diversity of tribal lives and history is ignored entirely. Whole geographic regions of long tribal histories are just not mentioned.

Tribal people and communities continue to drown in a deep ocean of really bad information. This series does nothing to help this problem…in fact it only compounds it. Many of the segment directors and crew are American Indians, which gives the errors and weaknesses of this series a decidely odd flavor.

There are to many unidentified white people commenting as “experts” who clearly have no demonstrable way to illustrate how they know what they claim to know or any history to allow the viewer to understand who they are or how they arrived at their speculative points of view.

The good that can be here is thereby eclipsed by the omissions and errors of presentation. The very act of scripting reenactments of largely undocumented events and histories is itself highly questionable.

Is this yet another ongoing example of how shallow, contrived and unable to muster a clear view of reality which seems to be an epidemic in the mainstream media? Yes, it is.

When historians must manufacture and act out a narrow view like this, something is lost. Perhaps what is lost is the truth. All this scratching around the bleeding earth to tell some sort of American Indian story is covering up the real story, the story the world continues to wait to hear and see.

Given the noble historical context of “preserving” the history of heroic leaders like Tecumse, one can only imagine why at the end they felt it relevant in that context to focus on the lies and criminality of the so-called Wounded Knee incident? What about the struggle of the Navajo against the uranium industry or the long and noble history of the Hopi? Two million American Indians and over 600 tribes wait for the real story. This is not it.

This is worthwhile viewing and recommended. Just be forewarned that this is yet another variation of revisionist and highly selective, manipulated, speculative history. It is great to see the Wampanouag get their due credit for the salvation of the Pilgrims. It is great to see innovative and brilliant leaders like Tecumse receive historical recognition.

America, and the world, has yet to take any honest steps towards truly seeing the American Indian history that rests half-buried in the shadows of the truth. For what it does accomlish one can be appreciative. For what is missing, we tribal people continue to wait. As we have for 500 years.

My rating for this series. 3 out of 10. Best regards.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Sweat Lodge in Parabiago Italy

For the fifth year, I go to Parabiago to conduct the ceremonies of the four directions unity bundle. We will build a new sweat lodge and go through the dream ceremony. A small group of people coming from all over Italy will attend these ceremonies. These will be the first ceremonies since I have finished writing the book Roots of the Sacred Tree…as well as the first since turning 60 years of age.

We are started working some ceremonies in a new community near Farrara. However, the space and the principles organizing this work have proven to be unsatisfying, requiring that we postpone and rework what may or may not be future possibilities for work in this region.

This has been a winter of pretty strong changes and challanges. My health continues to be a problem. It has gotten better on some fronts, only to present new problems on others. The biggest one at the moment seems to be in walking. I cannot walk very far before my left leg cramps up with a great rigidity in the muscles and great pain as well. My movement has become restricted, perhaps in a dangerous way. Other more subtle problems persist. At the moment my spirit is quite ready to get around the world but for my body it may in fact be impossible until there has been a stronger change for the better.

Lately my dreaming has been dreams inside the regular world. The world we see inside modern life. The most unusual development has been the arrival of a large 18 wheel truck which has had various parts in my recent dreaming.

Realizing so much of my dreaming has been inside modern society, I have asked my dreaming to change this. The results so far have been interesting. A few nights ago I was in a regular sort of house. My late father arrived and changed into a loin cloth and a big feather bustle. The bustle was a unique design. It had many very large feathers, with small feathers, like dongles, one hanging from each big feather. He actually started dancing and said to me “now I get it”. I actually started dancing with him and happened to mention to him that the old Indians figured these sacred feathers were just as important as the King James Bible he had so much affection for when he was alive. Well, this ended the dancing straight away and the dream became a big argument that woke me up. His dance was very good, a traditional style that really set off his feather bustle in a good way. This may be first dream I have ever had where my father presented himself fully as an American Indian man. In terms of the inner emotional journey I have made with this man, it was perhaps even a breakthrough.

Friday night. One man who has arrived early has settled into a very strong yoga practice that involves strong vocalizations. As I sit and listen to it I am not disturbed or irritated but not entirely comfortable with it. I will have to enter an instruction once the fire is made that only the practices we are here to share can be conducted. At the moment he is on free time. Once the fire has started he needs to go on Indian time. I have had encounters with strong yoga students who behave rather competitively or who seek to impose their schools of practice into the ceremonial work. The American Indian elders have always believed when you arrive in their lands, that you place yourself under their direction. This is all together a curious question which must sometimes be considered when working with people from diverse cultures and experiences. In these mystery life teachings I usually consider everyone present a white belt beginner.

This round we need to make a lodge for 14 people or so, or at least that is the rumor. (Ended up being 11-ed)

This round I will seek to bring forward the rule of silence in a strong way. `Much of the ceremonial space is an opportunity to clean out the back of the brain. `If there is to much talking, the noise of that prevents the subtle energy from getting to the back of the brain. The silence has a great power, between the singing, putting tobacco into the fire and the other elements of ceremony…properly these things can be tied together in a powerful way in the rule of silence, and kept from linking entirely by to much frontal brain noise…so, creating and maintaining that opportunity is always a big burden of the work.

I recently gave my wife an Eagle Feather. In this ceremony, I will ask her to be the one who touches the people with Eagle Feather. This will be the first time she takes her eagle feather into a ceremony in this way.

We are building a new sweat lodge this season. We have found a good group of hazelnut trees which have given us the wood for the frame. They are very fresh in the spring season, flexible and willing to work for us. We had to sneak up on a public park in the night to get these saplings. That is how it is in the city life. You have to make an expedition to find what you need, and you have to be careful doing it.

12:30 we have finished making the sweat lodge. The unusual angles of wood growing in the city creates an unusual shape this time. By the time we were finished it resembles an egg somewhat more than a circle. The wood has a fierce energy. Some of the saplings have many little flowering branches which I did not remove. It gives a great sweet sense of life to the completed frame. The egg-shaped frame.

1:30 before we have the lunch, we are covering the sweat lodge. I tell the Italians we have transformed a place on the earth into the womb of a sacred woman, that it is up to us now to understand this and make it true.

3 pm. We begin by seeking agreement. I am old, you are young. You are over there, I am over here. We cannot agree intellectually or culturally. We define ceremonial space in terms of where it is possible to agree. We can agree at the level of breathing together. We can agree using the rattles, using our silence. We can agree to enter the sweat lodge together. We can agree to dream close together. So we begin by standing together at the fire. In this round I will have them go one by one to the fire where they will see two fire keepers, women. One will touch them with an eagle feather and the other will show them the tobacco and the way to make an offering into the morning fire. They will come from there to the sweat lodge stones waiting for the fire. As they return each will will take a rattle and start shaking it. When the group is completed, we will al go together to the tobacco fire and place in tobacco all together. I will take fire from the morning fire and use it to start the sweat lodge fire and we will have started in the formal way. The sky gate will be open at that time.

8:30 pm. We talk about putting something in. I tell them if they put something in there, if they open up and put something in that ceremony they will get something back. This was just after asking two men who had traveled a long way to go away, without any explanation to anyone, even them. I did not even ask my brain why I told them to go. If after all this time I cannot trust my instincts and my spirit I am in the wrong line of work. I believe you should do the best you can. If you do that and the answer is no, even so, you should be ok. Though we do not speak the same language I told them that was unimportant. I do not need language to understand what is going on with people inside a ceremony. Once they cross the line of the sacred morning fire they pass under my direction and I see them clearly. Language at that point means nothing…at least not anything important…it does not have to stop our progress.

Fragment ends.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Most Ignorant Pope || A Monkey's Ass

This new beady-eyed Pope is one of the most intolerant and uneducated leaders the Catholic Church has yet to produce.

Every time he opens his mouth only the garbage of intolerance gushes out. As he parades around in his gay clothing, he has managed so far to insult everybody. When I see photos of him, his smile is like that of a badger and his eyes are dead little stones with no light, only rage and judgement. Of all the people in the world who need to shut the fuck up, this is the number one guy.

His latest tirade of racists supremacy and Nazi ideals is directed at the tribal spiritual practices of Africa. He tells the world that these people who believe in and practice their traditional tribal religions are bad people who need to be converted to the faith of this enshrined Nazi bigot parading around as a religious leader.

Many indigenous people had hoped we had long ago passed the point where traditional tribal spiritual practices were being condemned and judged by a Christian majority. However, since he crawled out from under the dark rock the old Pope kept him under, this new Pope has renewed the war against traditional tribal belief systems.

This is a retrograde philosophy at its most dangerous. His smug finger pointing should be taken as a personal insult to every person of reason and intelligence.

The world has so many ineffective world leaders. Clowns and punks who disguise an agenda of intolerance and hatred in educated words and phony appeals to unity. So far, the career of this mousy little man has managed to insult everybody. It is perhaps the strangest ascension in my lifetime, this rise of this ugly and hateful man.

Tribal people have their own religions. After many lifetimes of trying to get the language used to talk about indigenous religions cleaned up, we have this new international voice which has dragged the discussion back into the gutter.

This Pope is a sorry, sorry human being. I am 100 per cent against him. How much damage will he do in the free world before real justice catches up with him? The Church appointed a Nazi to head the Church. And he is moving right along with the supremacist views and racial hatred promoted so destructively by the Nazi culture.

He is a dangerously out of touch clown in red slippers. I ask no forgiveness for speaking in a harsh way. Sometimes polite language has no urgency or emotion sufficient to express the outrage society should feel to have this monkey's ass on the world stage. I am 60 years old. I can count the decent and effective world leaders we have had in my lifetime on one foot.

I have had, for the last several years, an experience of living within a Catholic culture. What i have learned here in Italy is that nearly every sensible adult working man and woman could care less what the Pope and his talking ass have to say about anything. On Pantelleria the head priest thinks his job is to tell people what to do. He thinks he is some sort of godfather or boss on this tiny island. He is so out of touch and closed in his mind that some of us wonder if he even has an asshole. He sticks his stinky assless face into every detail of daily life where the answer is almost always no. As in the rest of the world, sensible people pay him zero attention. The problem is the children and the innocent. There are so many kind and innocent people who just know no better and should not be blamed for looking to the church and its leadership. these are the one who are being betrayed. I could care less what Pope and his talking ass have to say, but I see the harm that it does to people unable to muster up a judgment against an office they consider sacred. It is the hope and hard work of the most innocent among us, perhaps, that holds the daily work together. the cynical truth is the Pope and his talking ass know this very well. they know to a certainty, a cynical, drug-dealers certainty, to whom they speak. Didn't they use to drive wooden stakes into the hearts of vampires? Now they make them Pope.

I have looked now at many photos of this Pope. Examine his eyes and hands in particular. His hands always look like claws, like they are trying to grip your throat and choke you. His hands are never open, they are always claw-like, threatening and filled with anger and tension. His eyes are the same. He has beady, unsmiling eyes, regardless of what the rest of his face is doing. Those are not the eyes of a man at peace, or of a man who believes in peace.

The innocent are being betrayed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shadows Breaking Into the Light

For American Indians the news seems mostly to be bad news. Today we read a report which tells us that while most American people are living longer lives, American Indians are not living as long as a generation ago. American Indian suicide is the highest in the country, elevated way above the suicide rate of all other Americans. This portfolio of darkness is carried throughout tribal communities. Understanding problems like this seems to be the best work we could make in these days. The problem with shadows is that no one wants to turn around and look at them. The people who count these numbers are just number counters, they offer no help. In my lifetime, what has been lost is astonishing. Looking back I am stunned. Many reservations of the American Indian have no news. They don't even know what you and I know. The vast majority of reservation residents probably receive little or no news about what is going the world, or 20 miles away. You and I are informed. Today you and I know American Indian babies die at a rate 44% higher than just ten years ago.

Next week we arrive in Milano to make ceremonies around the Equinox. We will go inside the sweat lodge and make the dream singing in several places. I have appointments with several of my doctors. Possibly I will have some days in the hospital in my continuing struggle against a relentless virus that is in my body. At the moment my ability to walk is about 300 feet. Something is wrong with my legs and they have stopped working in general. I go, but I go low, as the old timers used to tell me. Go Low. I can't drum as long as I used to be able to. My arms have problems of their own. My body was pretty well trashed about 10 years ago in a crash with a big truck on the Hopi reservation. I don't feel like an old Indian ready for the drop anytime soon, yet my health situation has slowed down and limited the opportunities which could be present for more ceremonies, more songs, more prayers and more sweat lodges. This is my work and I will make it up to the end, doing that work. I can't shake the strong feeling I have that the work makes a difference. No matter how bad things may seem, perhaps they would be much worse if not for these prayers and ceremonies that our people make as often as they can.

Inside that sweat lodge we talk about life and death. Inside that sweat lodge we are seeking life. We are seeking the knowledge of the universe, which is different than the knowledge of the family, of the job, of the statistics which say we are all dead or dying. Many of my old Indian teachers were in their nineties, a few over 100. One of my dearest teachers passed way recently and he was only 63. His father was almost 100 when he passed.

If I could show you a single image of what is going on all around the homes of the American Indian people right now it would look like hell itself, it would stun you and reflexively you would look away, change the channel, blink. Yes, there is and are some great beauty, some gathered space, some shining moments. These two possibilities are both true at the same moment.

You cannot change another person. You can change yourself. If you do that, if you wake up, you will know what you can do. There is something there you can use. It is the same for the people, these sacred relations of my mystery life...there is something there they can use. They can find their way. We awaken one by one. Into a life. It is right there.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Change The World

What if the world changed? If you, yourself, stay the same, you would not notice.

Change begins within. Today I took the little bus that goes along the winding sea road from Rekhale to Pantelleria Village. Down the line an elder, a man got on the bus. he seemed 75 or so, could have been 95. He seemed ancient. He was wobbly. He was dressed in an impeccable Italian wool suit, perfect for the weather today. he had a little beret hat and good Italian shoes. he was so impeccable, and so old school. i was impressed by his spirit, by his impeccable sense of being correct. I just turned 60. I feel the burn. getting old is not for sissies. While I have burned, I have grown.

In the last Blog I talked about the murdering gangster leonard peltier. Some people told me my account of his worthless life and the liars and fools who support him was not accurate. Looking at the sun and pretending it is the moon is a common sickness in society. If the truth is the truth, but liars and clowns and bullies can't see it, is it still the truth? Short answers, yes.

The American Indian community in particular has an enormous assortment of clowns and monkey's asses, with names like "freedom warrior" or "big canupa" parading around using testosterone instead of brains, using noise instead of respect or silence, using the shaking fist rather than the eagle feather. At times it seems like being and American Indian means you have to walk hip deep through mud and darkness just to see the light far away in the distance.

I recently reviewed a report which shows that American Indian young men kill themselves at the highest rate of any minority, and at a rate far higher than seems real. the innocent and tender American Indians, worn down at last, take this escape while the blowhards and rifle pointers and fake warriors find reasons why you should give them money and believe in their warrior wisdom. My old tribal teachers called the sacred tribal life the shrinking path. They called it this because those who should stand up and be counted in the sacred light are lost in the shadows of their own rage and denial.

Even if the world changes, people like this will not in their dark homes everything remains the same. And the world appears to have not changed at all. That seems to be the message for this week.

I learned something watching the old Sicilian. Something about silence and something about style. Life is sweet, and I keep dreaming. Maybe one day, the warriors will shut the fuck up and let the children speak, let the women breathe and let the elders bring the light around.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Leonard Peltier || A Scam that keeps on Scamming

The Leonard Peltier scam keeps on giving. It has a new ambition, the ear of President of the United States, one Barack Black Eagle Obama.

Presently a man has been presenting a petition on-line, in cooperation with Looking Horse,Keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman Sacred Pipe of the Lakota Nation. His bizarre petition can be found here. I encourage readers to enter comments against this petition at the site.

They want to meet with US President Obama. Do they want to ask the US to help with the rampaging violence, alcoholism, rape, unemployment suicides and poverty, elder abuse, child sexual abuse, violence against women, illiteracy and mountains of other problems which is the daily life of the Plains Tribal nations?


They want Obama to let convicted murderer and gangster Leonard Peltier out of prison. This is the big and most important issue for these crazy people behind this petition. Peltier is serving a life sentence for the assassination of two FBI agents. Freeing this gangster is why they want to meet with the President of the United States.

Arvol Looking Horse, the Keeper of a very sacred tribal pipe bundle, has aligned himself with this petition. This, to me, is the strangest development of all. Why has he aligned himself with this publicity stunt?

I do not know, personally, a single American Indian who has ever believed Peltier was innocent. Peltier initiated an unprovoked attack against two FBI agents investigating crime on Pine Ridge reservation. He attacked two young men with a combat grade, M-16 automatic rifle, against 2 FBI agents armed only with small caliber pistols. The attack was unprovoked, except in the paranoid mind of this gangster and his gun. Peltier has many crimes he has yet answered for, including his part in brutalizing, torturing and murdering Anna Mae Aquash. As I say, I have never known personally an American Indian who believed this punk was not guilty. The man circulating this petition seems to have questionable motives…selling his crappy books, being “chosen” to be among the great Sioux “warriors”…..what is most phony? This ongoing scam to get this murderer freed from the just sentence imposed upon him has now brought in the name of a person we hope would be above such vulgarity and fraud, namely the keeper of the sacred Pipe bundle of those long-suffering Lakota. Who is this man that he would lend his name to seeking to talk to the president of the united states about this punk Leonard Peltier…but has no interest in talking to the government or the world about the many problems and disasters which are the reality of the day to day life on Sioux reservations?

This whole petition for Obama is opportunism. I think this petition, with the name of Looking Horse attached to it is strange. It brings questions about that sacred pipe, that man, of the elders and leadership around him. While the propaganda theatrics of the so-called supporters of Leonard Peltier avoids the truth, it is a tragedy that the name of the sacred pipe is being associated with this monumental flim-flam. There are so many vitally important and pressing issues in American Indian life. This one issue, this Peltier issue, is a fog, a cloud over what is real and what is important right now. While people are free to behave in a politically active way, even for a cause such as this, it is sad to see sacred officers and spiritual leaders lend their name to such questionable work. Peltier is a symbol of nothing good. Helping Peltier does not help any American Indian anywhere except Peltier. People desperate for attention are not the best people to rely upon to understand what is needed to support the American Indian. A lot of people around the world have been fooled.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Copyright ©2009. Turtle Heart.

Finish the book

After two years of work I have completed a book about the nature of sacred pipe and the philosophy of American Indian ritual that is best described as the shrinking path. Commentaries on the teachings of the shrinking path. That is the subtext, but not the title.

A few days before the book was finished at last, I turned 60 years.

I bought myself a $1,000 pipe lighter. Palladium. Very well made, beautiful. A little reward that I can carry around in my pocket for the next sixty years. I will use it to light the morning tobacco fire.

Here on Pantelleria Island, we are in the season of the wind. She is known as the Daughter of the Wind. When I knew that this island was known as this elegant and powerful name by the ancient ones, it brought me a lovely feeling. What better place for an old American Indian to reflect, write and prepare himself to take Sacred Pipe around this mother earth. There is so much peace, so many sweet people. It has been a revelation to me of an entire other side of my nature. I have been fighting the indian wars all my life. So it seems. Fucking indians. We are still here. I am still here. I dwell and thrive on the edge, on a crumb left behind by an old volcano. My home has volcano vapors which come up from the garden.

I wrote this book on an Apple iMac. This computer is a toy really. An accessory for your iPhone. It crashed many times, went to repairs twice and still behaves badly whenever it can. I wrote the final draft using Apple’s “Pages” program. It is a nice clean writing program. I composed it and organized it in a nice writing program called “Scrivner”, which is about the best program ever for organizing and composing a book with many chapters and parts. When I was finished I exported it to Pages to finish the writing. 54 chapters. 54 files. When it came time to put the chapters into InDesign so I could publish it in a digital format for copyright registration, I found Pages does not play well with other programs. Apple keeps making toys that work only with itself and not so well with the tools professionals use on computers these days. Apple has been a big disappointment lately. After converting the Pages chapters of 700 pages to Rich Text (RTF), I converted the RTF files to a single PDF. I then converted the collected PDF to a single RTF file and imported that into InDesign with the help of a $75 plug-in that automatically flows so much text across so many pages (fucking InDesign does not do this itself). I then had to remake all the tabs and paragraphs, add graphics and poetry. Mamma Mia.

60 original paintings. 54 original poems. 654 pages of writing. Completed February 08, 2009 at 9:21:44 pm, CET.
I will be looking for a publisher. I need to see this thing on paper. I will also offer it as a digital download soon.

Today I listen to Flamingo music, smoke, and go walking in the wind. The Great Wind is my mother.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mazzacane | and the final draft of the book is finished

Writing the Book

My attention in these last weeks has been directed entirely at finishing a book about my life with Sacred Pipe. At the moment the initial draft is finished and soon it will be sent for copyright registration.

It has taken two years to write this book. The last four months it has taken many hours each day to work to bring it home.

There has never been a book written in the first person by an American Indian on this subject. It makes sense that the first effort in this direction would be from someone like me. I have spent my life under the direction of my tribal elders. I have held the form without surrender or compromise.

The gigantic mountain of trash on these sacred subjects which is regurgitated on the internet and in the few published works available have contributed one notable factor to the truth about tribal sacred matters: confusion.

Readers who find my book will not be confused. Clarity in intent and delivery has been the abiding rule I established in my relationship with the many tribal elders who guided and supported my work over these last forty years or so.

A blog is a kind of journal, at least that was the original intent. The journal of the World Journey of the Four Directions Unity Bundle does not break the way daily news breaks. It is a slower movement. Most of the real work is not in a verbal realm.

The holiday season fills me with a curious indifference and this has been reflected in very few blog entries. In the end the blog is my own reflection about myself and about the work.

A new US President comes into office today. He inherits a vulgar and thoughtless disaster brought to us by one of the most incompetent leaders in recent history. I can only dream of the remote possibility that a new administration would bring georgefuckingbush before a criminal court. The new president has some American Indian credentials. It remains to be seen if this will bring any relief or changes to what is basically a neglected, abused and somewhat desperate American Indian population. I will not speculate. If his own blood can have a voice in his soul, Obama will make a difference. He cannot save everybody. If he can just save himself from a bullet and stand up as a decent and thoughtful human being I will be relieved and satisfied, as should the world.

I wish they would bring back stoning and publicly stone george bush and his father to death. Not a threat, just a wish. Where I live we have a special stone which is called, in the local language, “mazzacane”, which means “kill the dog”, in Pantesche. Goodbye, asshole.

The book is over 800 pages, with color paintings and original poetry added to the text. Mamma Mia. Now to find a publisher interested in publishing the first ever book of American Indian sacred ceremonies written by an American Indian. Yes, I know good luck. If you have any ideas make a note in the comments section.

Obama. Yes. The word is go. I have just the slow analog modem but I read the speech and looked at photos and hot emotional and cried. This is really a great moment. Billions of smiling people all over the world, smiling and happy and filled with hope for a man who is just a man, but a moment something greater than just a man. Very emotional and important moment for the USA.

Let the goo dtimes begin. Yes, a lot of suffering but maybe the pain won’t be wasted this time. For the last 8 years there was suffering and it was pretty much you are on your own. Something has changed. Stay alert. Get off you ass and help the good times come back. Be happy and do something.

Buy my book. My Big Book. Two years of work. We need this book. Maybe I will send a copy to Obama.

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