Have available a supply of small to tiny seeds, stones, sweetgrass, feathers, cedar and sage (not the green, cooking sage, but prairie, mountain or silver sage).
A supply of tissue paper in the following colours: Blue, Green, Orange, Pink, Red, White (or silver), Yellow (or Gold).
Wrap a bit of each of the elements into the different colours of tissue paper.
Put the little bundles in a basket or bowl (not plastic).
Bowl and contents should be smudged.
Cover the basket with a red cloth (Red brings the Ancestors).
Ask your guests or circle participants to reach in under the cloth and draw one of the little packages. They should not look. Whatever colour and element they pull from the basket will tell them something about where they are on their current earth walk.
USING THE COLOURS WITH SACRED MEDICINE. Shannon Thunderbird.
SEEDS: Potential for the future; rebirth; renewal, spring, winds of change, South on the medicine wheel where the Healer sings.
CEDAR: Healer of the physical body. North on the medicine wheel where the Teacher Sings.
SAGE: Helps stabilize emotions, and create beautiful dreams and visions. South on the medicine wheel.
FEATHERS: Represents a Message; the good things in life; wisdom and knowledge; Flying free with creative thought is a privilege. East on the Medicine wheel.
STONES: Keepers of your inner knowledge and that of the living world; look for your own truth. West on the Medicine Wheel.
SWEETGRASS: Is about kindness, fairness and equality. It sits in the West where the Bear and the Visionary sing.
BLUE - Go into your own inner self and unlock the knowledge of your own inner wisdom that resides there. Try to not to get caught up in the 'high drama' of your present life. Have faith that there is another alternative.
GREEN - As you walk your earth walk, look to the rocks and the mountains for teachings. For they sit quietly upon Mother Earth providing harmony and strength.
ORANGE - Hold your stone in your left hand, and feel its energy pulsate up your arm and to that place in your soul that holds your own stories. Feel the energy of those stories asking to be freed. Be careful of undue stress levels so that you do not create an illness.
PINK - Stone does not disintegrate, nor does your creative energy. Stone will help you release that energy to be used in creative and intuitive ways.
PURPLE - The silence of the quiet mind is the sacred fertility of the receiving spirit. Sit in silence holding your stone and it will speak to you in a wondrous new way.
RED - Stone is your power ally. Feel its power, even in a little stone. It holds the songs and stories of creation and all its energy. Listen to your own songs, allow your own voice to release tension and emotion, and provide harmonization of your own personal medicine shield.
YELLOW/GOLD - Your stories await you. Look past the darkness of your soul, and soon the bright light of Grandfather Sun will illuminate you and bring you to contentment.
WHITE/SILVER - Bathe yourself in the purity of your own inner knowledge. The power of faith contains within it the power to move mountains.
SHANNON THUNDERBIRD'S CLAN STORY (GISPUDWADA - BLACKFISH/ORCA)
A long way back, a very long way, way before recorded time, Gyibaaw Mootsk (White Wolf) stood contemplating his world. He was beautiful with glistening, satiny white fur that shone in both the sun and moonlight. There was much wisdom in his piercing green eyes. They reflected the power of the earth on which he walked, and his own inner knowing. He had wandered around the world searching for someone who looked just like him, but to no avail. It seemed he was the only one of his kind in existence. It made him very sad and lonely.
One day he met Noo Halidzocks (Mother Earth) sitting beside the big water. She was singing to herself in the evening twilight as the waves washed into the shore. Her voice was soft, yet seemed to carry far out across the water, into the trees, below the ground to the original home of the four great winds, the beautiful sounds flying on silver wings to the star nation. "~Looda lagyigyeda txa'nii yets'isga waaldi da lax yuup ada txa'nii goo ada luwaalm ts'm aks." (Respect all animals that live on land and all things that live in the sea).
She had built a small fire and its warmth penetrated her old bones as the flames danced in the breeze. O. tshawytscha (chinook salmon) had offered itself for her evening meal. She placed the skeleton back into the water in thanks, and to ensure they would return again the following year. Seeing Gyibaaw Mootsk standing nearby she invited him to come and share her meal. They talked awhile about, the beauty and power of the land, the Amgan (red cedar trees) that stood as stately guardians nearby. "It is a good place, my friend," said Noo Halidzoks.
"Yes, I guess it is." Replied Gyibaaw Mootsk.
By this time, Culture Hero, Gaax (Raven) attracted by the smell of cooked salmon, had joined them. He dropped another fat salmon onto the fire as he invited himself for dinner. He settled down on a low Amgan branch, and looked curiously at Gyibaaw Mootsk.
"You are sad, 'nasiip'nsgu (my friend). Will you tell us why?" Delicately he nipped a choice piece of salmon out of the air tossed to him by Noo Halidzoks.
"Ah, Dzi'is (Grandmother), Gaax I am just very lonely."
"Why?" She asked.
"Well I have travelled everywhere, yet I've been unsuccessful in finding another like me. I am sad because I have no one to share things with."
"Well." Gaax fluffed his feathers. "I am also one of a kind, I rather like it, and I have lots of friends."
"I just think you are one of the most elegant of the four leggeds, but, I think I understand how you feel." Noo Halidzoks said quietly. "Go to sleep now, beautiful Gyibaaw Mootsk, Gaax and I will think on this awhile.
A few days later, the three of them gathered together again for a late dinner. "We have decided, Gyibaaw Mootsk that if you are this unhappy, you need to change. Therefore, you will be turned into a big, shiny, black dolphin." As Gyibaaw Mootsk started to dance in anticipation, Noo Halidzoks raised a cautioning hand. "But," she said, "white markings will be painted on your sides to remind you that you used to live on land as a white wolf. Always remember and respect your four-legged relatives; acknowledge them when they come to visit. Dolphins travel in groups, like the wolves, protecting and teaching their young by singing to them. When dolphins surface to breathe, it is also a reminder of its origin." She smiled. "You will also have the responsibility of remembering and singing the history of your people.
With that, Gyibaaw Mootsk sank below the great water of the Pacific Ocean. All the other swimmers rushed over to welcome him to their midst. To this day when Gispudwada (Blackfish) begins its migratory path from Alaska to the warmer waters of the south Pacific, they stop to rest in a place called Puget Sound, near Seattle. They rise to the surface and call to their wolf relatives who come down to the shore to sing back. Pod and Pack then introduce to each other any babies that may have been born between visits.
And, this is why Gispudwada looks the way it does, uniquely, glisteningly, powerfully beautiful, with a voice that carries for long distances and holds the wisdom of the ages. Wilwilaaysk, All My Relations. Nii'sabbat, It is finished.
-- -- "Killer Whale" is an incorrect and insulting term for one of the most magnificent creatures in nature.
2. -- Orca/Blackfish is a Dolphin!
3. -- Why would anyone want to have the Killer name as its principal identifier?
==-- Photos: Shannon Thunderbird as Mother Earth; Sandy Horne as Raven in their musical: "Daughter of the Copper Shield."