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He held the little seeds in his hand and let them scatter to the wind…and he said, “We are Cherokee, but we are also men…and within us is the Spirit. Our bodies may fall to the ground, but nothing real is ever lost. Who can pick up a seed and see the tree or the stalk that is sleeping inside, waiting for the right time to burst forth…and who can look at a man and see the Great Spirit and the Sacred Self that grows within? It is there, waiting for the right time to manifest and grow. You are a seed. What lies within you? What will your Spirit do for The People?”
The Cherokee New Year
“If, like a Cherokee warrior, I can look at the new year as an opportunity to stand on new ground, then strength and courage are on my side. If I have waited a long time for everything to be perfect–and there have been moments, brief as they were, that filled my expectations–then I can face the challenges. I will remember that things do work out, bodies do heal, relationships mend–not because I said it, but because I believe it. But it is time to make things right, to stay on the Path. As water runs fresh and free from the woodland spring, so new life and meaning will bubble up from my own inner source. I will be still and steady because there is nothing to be gained by showing fear in a chaotic world. I can turn from ignorance and prejudice toward a light that never goes out.”
From “A Cherokee Feast of Days: Daily Meditations” by Joyce Sequichie Hifler
A Cherokee elder is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, ego, and superiority. The other is good–he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win? ” The Cherokee elder simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Cherokee Wisdom on the Loss of a Loved One…
When someone dear to us passes on, their soul races to the dark of the sky to become a bright star to help guide the rest of our journey on Earth and back to Creator.
The Spiritual Dance of the Wolf and the Indian
The Wolf and the Indian once lived in harmony. They hunted together and their spirits touched.
To the Native Americans the wolf has always been a teacher. They revered the wolf as a wise and cunning hunter and even adopted many of the wolfs ways. The wolf has an innate ability to survive and thrive and be in balance with the world they share. Wolves have great stamina, the ability to track well and can go for long periods without food. The Indians respected the wolfs patience and perseverance, which were his most effective hunting weapons. By observing the wolf the Indians developed the ability to pass unseen thus enabling them to outwit their enemies. It was the highest compliment an Indian could receive to be told he hunted or fought like a wolf.
The Indians were aware how their lives mirrored that of the wolf. Thus creating a strong spiritual bond between the two. Both hunted for the survival of their families and both fought to defend their pack (tribe) against enemy attacks. To do so they had to be skilled in the protection of themselves and their families. The wolfs most indispensable personal trait is the ability to exist as part of a group, and form attachments to others of its kind. Wolves are social animals of the highest order. They mate for life and have strong family values as they raise their young. Wolves rarely fight among their own pack. They also rarely interact or fight with wolves of other packs. The wolf taught the Indians how to take advantage of constant change. The tribe, like the pack, hunted the same type of game and moved their families to follow specific game herds. When a wolf meets its prey there is a moment of eye contact that determines if the prey lives or dies. Wolf wisdom teaches one to face the end of ones life cycle with dignity and courage. The Indians gained the belief from the wolf that dying is not a tragic event but one to embrace with dignity. Wolf wisdom also teaches that self-control in the face of death is great glory.
Wolves live by carefully defined rules and rituals. To observe the wolf is to learn that if you develop strength and confidence you don’t have to prove yourself. The wolf is the true spirit of the free and unspoiled wilderness. The future survival of the wolf depends on whether this mystical creature can be seen at last for what it really is, an unusually interesting and vital part of both our wildlife and the Native American heritage.
Here eat this root.
That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antiobiotic.
That antibiotic doesn’t work anymore. Here, eat this root!
Great Spirits’s Garden
“We are all flowers in the Great Spirit’s garden. We share a common root, and the root is Mother Earth. The garden is beautiful because it has different colors in it and these colors represent different traditions and cultural backgrounds.”
– Grandfather David Monongye –
Cherokee Prayer Blessing
May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Mocassins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.
Cherokee Rite of Passage
The legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of passage..
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!
Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.
We, too, are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, our Heavenly Father is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.
The History of Medicine according to Cherokee Legend
The Old Ones say that at one time all of Creation spoke the same language. The plants could communicate with the finned ones, the four-leggeds could speak with the trees, the stones could talk with the wind, and even the most dependent, most pitiful part of creation, the two-leggeds, or as we have come to call ourselves, the humans, could also speak with the other parts of creation. All existed in harmony. The plants, the animals, and the elements of the Four Directions (all existence) all knew that if the two-leggeds were to survive, they would need help.
The animals gave of themselves, willingly sacrificing, so that the humans could have food. They knew that their skins were much better suited to survival than that of the humans, so they allowed their skins to be taken and used for clothing and shelter. The Finned ones, The Fliers, and the Crawlers also allowed themselves to be used by the humans, to insure their survival. The Plant people, the Standing people (trees), and the Stone People (rocks) freely gave of themselves so that the humans had what they needed for food, clothing, and shelter. An agreement was forged that the two-leggeds would ask permission for these gifts, give thanks for the sacrifice, and take no more than they needed. And so, it was good.
But then, the two-leggeds started growing in numbers, and began to feel themselves more important than the rest of creation. They began to believe that the Web of Life revolved around them, ignoring the fact that they were just one small part of the Circle. The two-leggeds began to kill without asking for permission. They began to take more than they needed. They ceased to give thanks. All parts of the agreement were broken.
The great Animal Councils banded together to determine what they should do to right these wrongs. They needed to protect themselves from destruction and eradication. And so, it was decreed by the council, if one of their clan was killed by the two-leggeds and thanks was not given for the sacrifice, the Chief Animal Spirit would afflict the disrespectful killer with a devastating disease.
The plants were distressed and said to the animals, “They wrong us, too. They dig us up, trample us, burn us out, and don’t even listen when we try to tell them what we can do to help them. Yet, we feel compassion for the two-leggeds. Man struggles to realize his place in the web of creation and he cannot learn if he is wiped out by disease. Man needs our help, so for every disease you animals bring to them, we, the Plant People will give them a cure. All the two-leggeds have to do is ‘ listen’ when we talk to them.”
At Nuwati Herbals, we pray for guidance before we make our products. As we walk the Medicine Path, we listen to the plants. We give thanks to the plants for their sacrifice that allows the two-leggeds to survive. We thank Creator for creating the plants, and we thank Mother Earth for making them grow.
We are proud to bring you…
Natural Remedies from the Medicine Cabinet of Mother Earth.