Saturday, September 29, 2012

Equinox Muse || Severe Failure of American Indian Leadership To Back Elizabeth Warren

Ceremonial Fire at the Equinox September 2012  ||  ©2012 Turtle Heart

This post comes up on the Equinox this month and then leads into my views on the severely racist campaign by the GOP against Elizabeth Warren who reasonably claims to have American Indian ancestors.

American Indians all have ceremonies, ancient ceremonies, called "finding lost relations", very sacred ceremonies at the very root of almost every tribal culture. These racist attacks are lead by a GOP that is hostile, very hostile, to any program or service for American Indians.

It is tragic that American Indian leadership cannot see this situation clearly. Failure is what I call it. Failure and a missed opportunity.

As to the Equinox, the little gateway for breathing ourselves into a new season, we had some spontaneous visitors to the sacred fire, to the ancient songs. In this season we also started a spirit keeping ceremony for our dear friend Ralph who passed away recently. He was so young and bright.

So for two years we will carry on the "keeping the spirit" ceremony.....we will send our old songs and our hope that some tribal leadership will wake the fuck up and stand with Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

20 September 2012

Moving Towards An Equinox

Our ancient ancestors spent enormous amounts of energy, time, resources and attention in marking, measuring, and changing their everyday behaviour at the moment of solstice and equinox.

No one today, it seems, remembers why.

Most of the really ancient structures found in the world (all of the most spectacular ones) were constructed to measure and be in alignment with solstice and equinox.

Today, nothing official is built to do that, anywhere.

Today as the Sacred Door opened
I was breathing, I was singing softly
I said my name in four directions
And released my prayers to a sacred fire
Burning upon the earth
Where I was standing

A moment to find myself, remember myself
Lift myself up, stand straight
And feel my feet upon the sacred earth
Yes, a moment my friend, a moment sweet and fleeting

Seven times I heard my heart
Beating, life flowing, my dream clearly in motion
My dream, my name, my song
Yes, my friend, I made myself again in that moment
I was the one making myself, it was my hand that was open
My heart that was beating, my body that was standing still
As the earth moved again
In its long Dream with the Sun

Equinox 2012, September
Pantelleria Island

©2012 Turtle Heart

30 September

Massive American Indian Failure || Support For Elizabeth Warren

All tribes have ceremonies for finding and bringing home lost relatives and ancestors. These are considered very important and sacred responsibilities. Once agin tribal leadership anywhere has defeated itself and turned a blind eye to their rights and responsibilities. There is no reasonable reason to doubt Ms. Elizabeth Warren’s understanding of who her ancestors are. Zero. If her tribes would embrace her and stand up for her, there would be many blessings, a lot of positive attention, and the making of powerful friends. But no tribe has done that. Some individual American Indians have put on phony outrage press releases which are only racist driven rants probably planted and paid for by supports of Republican Scott Brown. These few American Indian voices ranting and posturing their fake outrage represent only themselves. The only voice that matters is really the voice of the ceremonial leaders of the tribes. Wait. Where are those people? They  seem in short supply. Most tribes these days use the public voice of a federal government BIA elected leader to speak to the world. None of these persons have any authority, and usually very little understanding of, the ceremonial and religious roots of their tribe.

The truth is almost any American Indian tribe could stand up and through its religious and ceremonial people support and adopt Ms. Warren  at any time. I am surprised none of them have. Most of their political leaders never talk to what is usually only a few spiritual leaders among the tribes. They are in short supply and the tribal governments never listen to them. So many tribes sit silent when they have this perfect opportunity to present a more loving, accepting, forgiving and progressive face to the world. And strike a blow for the Democrats. Republican Brown will never do any favors for American Indians…it might be better to think of him as a deeply racist opponent of American Indians.

Stupefying That is how I feel when I look at how the American Indians as a group have responded to the Warren situation in Massachusetts.

The "proof" thing is such a fiasco. There are thousands and thousands of well known American Indians that would be hard pressed to produce "documentation" if they were suddenly confronted by an international journalistic frenzy, believe me. I can also tell you that I know many old American Indians who would never show you, tell you or tolerate anyone asking for "proof" of anything. 

We also need to hear from Tribal Elders. These people know who their relations are. Among tribes that actually honor their sacred traditions, it is the tribal elders who have the only real authority to name who their tribal relations are or are not.

I would say to Elizabeth Warren that one day she should, and perhaps she has, present herself in friendship to one of the tribal elders who live in massachusetts, as there are in fact several respected Tribal Elders in the state of Massachusetts. That has always been my best advice to people who tell me they have American Indian ancestors. I tell them to look for an Elder and just talk to them in a friendly way. Tribal Elders know what to do next. You can always trust them. If Elizabeth Warren were to introduce herself to the Grand Medicine Society Elder of Massachusetts, she would find a friend immeditaely. I must stress the rule among tribes here: YOU have the responsibility to one day find a Tribal Elder who will talk to you. It is up to you, not them. 

My Dear, If you believe in yourself, the Tribal Elders will embrace you and respect you. Their voice is the ONLY VOICE that matters in this argument. However, no FREE person has any obligation to be intimidated into producing pieces of paper. Pieces of paper mean nothing. The truth is always present in the human heart. As a Keeper of tribal ceremony for more than forty years, I can clearly see the heart of Elizabeth Warren and I accept her understanding of who her ancestors are. I embrace her and support her. I would do this publicly, but I am way over here in Italy.

By keeping silent, tribal leadership is losing a golden opportunity and even worse, they let the loud mouths of their craziest members set the official reaction in the minds of the media. 

I am waiting even as I write for some American Indian leader might wake up, look around, and stand up for the incredible racist insult delivered by a white candidate, Scott Brown, for the Senate of the United States. Where is that tribal leader?

I wrote a few years ago a detailed and very strong argument on these issues of who the Indians are and who they are not, full blood, fake indians, and so forth. You can find a link to that PDF here.

Turtle Heart
Ojibwe Artist
Keeper of the Four Directions Unity Bundle
Keeper of the Sacred Pipes of the Eastern Gate
...enroute in a circle around the mother earth....

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