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Honor of ancestors -Carries of souls from darkness into light -
Guards against fear in darkness - Shapeshifter

Ancient Lenape Legend Excerpt from a book written by James Alexander Throm called: The Red Heart.
    The Rainbow Crow was beautiful to hear and to see, back in the days when it never got cold, back in the Ancient Days, before Snow Spirit appeared in the World.

    When the Snow Spirit did appear, all the people and animals were freezing and a messenger was selected to go up to kijilamuh kaong, The Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be. The messenger was to ask The Creator to think of the World as being warm again so that they would not all freeze to death.

    Rainbow Crow was chosen to go and he flew upward for three days. He got the Creators attention by singing beautifully, but even though he begged the Creator to make it warm again, the Creator said He could not, because He had thought of Cold and He could not unthink it. But He did think of Fire, a thing that could warm the creatures even when it was cold. And so He poked a stick into the Sun until it was burning, and the gave it to Rainbow Crow to carry back to earth for the creatures. The Creator told Rainbow Crow to hurry before it burned all up.

    Rainbow Crow dove down and flew as fast as he could go. The burning stick charred all of his beautiful feathers until they were black and since he was carrying the stick in his beak, he breathed the smoke and heat until his voice was hoarse.

    And so the Rainbow Crow was black and had an unpleasant cawing voice forever after, but all the creatures honored him, for he had brought Tindeh, fire, for everyone to use.

    The Crow is to this day, still honored by hunters and animals, who never kill it for foodand, if you look closely at the Crows black feathers you can still see many colors gleaming in the black.

Crow, the keeper of spiritual law, likes to steal shiny bright objects. Always the clown, he looks for ways to amuse himself. We too need to look for the bright and shiny aspects of life even in the 'junkpile." Like crow we need to see the connection between past, present, and future. 

Crow is a little cocky because he knows who he is. Honor spiritual truth and you will know true power as well. Crow is a shapeshifter who can teach us that we can be anything we desire, and he often serves as an omen of powerful change. 



Brings peace and love - Understanding of gentleness - 
Spirit messenger - Communicates between the two worlds 



Grace on water - Seeing clearly through emotions - 
Spirit helper of mystics and seers
    The wintry winds had already begun to whistle and the waves to rise when the Drake and his mate gathered their half- grown brood together on the shore of their far northern lake.

    "Wife," said he, "it is now time to take the children southward, to the Warm Countries which they have never yet seen!"

    Very early the next morning they et out on their long journey, forming a great "V" against the sky in their flight. The mother led her flock and the father brought up the rear, keeping a sharp lookout for stragglers.

    All day they flew high in the keen air, over wide prairies and great forests of northern pine, until toward evening they saw below them a chain of lakes, glittering like a string of dark-blue stones.

    Swinging round in a half circle, they dropped lower and lower, ready to alight and rest upon the smooth surface of the nearest lake.

    Suddenly their leader heard a whizzing sound like that of a bullet as it cuts the air, and she quickly gave the warning: "Honk! honk! Danger, danger!" All descended in dizzy spirals, but as the great Falcon swooped toward them with upraised wing, the ducklings scattered wildly hither and thither. The old Drake came last, and it was he who was struck!

    "Honk, honk!" cried all the Ducks in terror, and for a minute the air was full of soft downy feathers like flakes of snow. But the force of the blow was lost upon the well-cushioned body of the Drake, he soon got over his fright and went on his way southward with his family, while the Falcon dropped heavily to the water's edge with a broken wing.

    There he stayed and hunted mice as best he could from day to day, sleeping at night in a hollow log to be out of the way of the Fox and the Weasel. All the wit he had was not too much whereby to keep himself alive through the long, hard winter.

    Toward spring, however, the Falcon's wing had healed and he could fly a little, though feebly. The sun rose higher and higher in the blue heavens, and the Ducks began to return to their cool northern home. Every day a flock or two flew over the lake; but the Falcon dared not charge upon the flocks, much as he wished to do so. He was weak with hunger, and afraid to trust to the strength of the broken wing.

     One fine day a chattering flock of Mallards alighted quite near him, cooling their glossy breasts upon the gently rippling wave.

     "Here, children," boasted an old Drake, "is the very spot where your father was charged upon last autumn by a cruel Falcon! I can tell you that it took all my skill and quickness in dodging to save my life. Best of all, our fierce enemy dropped to the ground with a broken wing! Doubtless he is long since dead of starvation, or else a Fox or a Mink has made a meal of the wicked creature! "

    By these words the Falcon knew his old enemy, and his courage returned.

    "Nevertheless, I am still here!" he exclaimed, and darted like a flash upon the unsuspecting old Drake, who was resting and telling of his exploit and narrow escape with the greatest pride and satisfaction.

    "Honk! honk! " screamed all the Ducks, and they scattered and whirled upward like the dead leaves in autumn; but the Falcon with sure aim selected the old Drake and gave swift chase. Round and round in dizzy spirals they swung together, till with a quick spurt the Falcon struck the shining, outstretched neck of the other, and snapped it with one powerful blow of his reunited wing.

    Do not exult too soon; nor is it wise to tell of your brave deeds within the hearing of your enemy.




Assisting in soul healing - Accompanying the soul back to the soul world - Teaching swiftness - Learning the aerobatics of life - 
Controlling speed and movement - Understanding magic



Complex use of color - 
Connection to open woodlands, savannas, and forest edges - 
Secretive movement - Ability to hear the Earths heart beat
     Every snow, Thunderbird {Suck-Z'-cum] of the snow-land came to devour the fairest of the virgins among the villages. It was the custom that the maiden go meet the monster, to be eaten for the sake of her tribe. Thunderbird was satisfied to leave the people unmolested so long as he was given this yearly sacrifice; but it must be at his first appearance from the snow-land, at his first rolling among the clouds. No one had ever been able to scare Thunderbird, could not frighten him from his human feast. With the spring there was wailing for the victim. 

     At last Garter Snake [Sku-qua-wel'hau] thought that he would try to meet Thunderbird. The maiden chosen to, perish was one that Garter Snake loved. When she left the village crying, going to her terrible death, Garter Snake put on his best warbonnet and followed her. The maiden saw him. She begged him to return lest he also be killed. 

     Garter Snake said, "No! I am going to die with you." 

      She said to Garter Snake, "Go back to our people! You cannot stand before Thunderbird! I alone will die!" 

      But Garter Snake would not turn back. Soon he heard the flapping of great wings. It was Thunderbird coming. Garter Snake's legs shook with fear. He wanted to run away, but his pride, his love for the girl, made him brave. He met Thunderbird without revealing that he was afraid. 

     Thunderbird spit fire, spit lightning towards Garter Snake. Garter Snake did not run. He spit fire back at Thunderbird. This stopped Thunderbird. Thunderbird thought, "This must be someone more powerful than I to Spit fire as I do". Thunderbird said to Garter Snake, "What do you fear? What are you afraid of?" 

     Garter Snake answered, "I fear nothing! Nothing can hurt me. If you wish to fight, I will show you how big a fire I can spit." 

     These words Thunderbird believed, for none of the tribes had dared to meet him before. Only the timid maidens who came crying to their death had ever faced him. Thunderbird spit a bigger fire, thinking to scare Garter Snake. But Garter Snake spit a great fire streaming in the face of Thunderbird. This soon scared Thunderbird, who turned towards his snow-country home. Garter Snake followed him, spitting fire as he chased the big Thunderbird. 

      Garter Snake said to him after driving him home, "From this day you will never come back to our land to devour the people. You will only roam the skies, only make rumblings and crashing amid the storm gathering." 

      Since that time Thunderbird has kept away from the people. He was ashamed because Garter Snake had driven him away with spitting fire. He never came back to destroy the tribes of the warm countries. He could only fly through the upper space, only clash his broad wings among the clouds, spitting fire from his great mouth. 

     Garter Snake went back to his people with the maiden whom he had saved. For his bravery in protecting the tribes from Thunderbird, for scaring away the mighty air-monster with his pretended power, they gave Garter Snake a pretty green blanket with stripes. This garb Garter Snake wears to this day. 



Illumination - Understands the cycles of the Sun -
All aspects of clear vision - The Solar Bird - Spiritual power - 
Sees from the highest places - Courage - Strength 
       Great-Wind lived on the top of Mount Shasta . She had two daughters, and many people went to buy them. But they could not reach the place where the girls lived, for the wind blew them back. The people were scattered about everywhere, who had been thus blown away. The old woman did not want her daughters to marry. At this time Eagle thought, "I must try! I wonder if I cannot get there!" so he went. 

      Eagle sang as he went along. Now, Coyote was setting snares for gophers. He said to himself, "Where is it that some one is talking?" He listened, and thought, "It sounds like a song. It is a song." He kept listening. "It sounds like a song," he said; "some one must be singing." It came nearer. Coyote looked all about. "Where is it that some one is singing?" he said. Then Eagle came, flying. "Eagle! Where are you going?" but Eagle went on, singing all the time. "I want to go too!" said Coyote. "Wait for me cousin!"--"Well, you can come too," said Eagle. So they went on together. 

      Eagle put Coyote inside his shirt; and they went thus together, went to buy wives, singing as they went. Now, soon the wind roared near by. Now it blew; and as they got to the bottom of the hill, just there it blew Coyote out. The wind tore open Eagle's shirt, and blew out what he carried there. But Eagle kept on. The wind blew very hard. The skirt of hail, that the old Great-Wind woman wore, rattled as she turned round. Eagle was blown quite a way back. Again he came on, and got nearer. Then he got pretty close, got over the smoke-hole, and then went in through it. Again he was blown back, many times. Finally he darted in suddenly in a lull in the wind, and sat down. The wind lifted him off the ground where he sat, but the old woman could do nothing with him. The wind blew the great logs in the fire about, but he still sat there. Finally she gave up. He was the only one who ever got there, to buy wives. 

From Dixon , Roland B. Journal of American Folklore; Vol. 23 No. 87 p. 22-23. 



Movement along ones soul path - 
Understanding the power of community - Assisting others through illness - Happiness




Comfort in large groups - Attacking from the rear - 
Facing the buffeting winds of this world - 
Accomplishment - Use of voice as protection - 
Nomadic living - Fearlessness - Pushing against the tide
CREATION OF THE FIRST INDIANS -Inland Northwest - Chelan
     Long, long ago, the Creator, the Great Chief Above, made the world. Then he made the animals and the birds and gave them their names--Coyote, Grizzly Bear, Deer, Fox, Eagle, the four Wolf Brothers, Magpie, Bluejay, Hummingbird, and all the others. When he had finished his work, the Creator called the animal people to him. "I am going to leave you," he said. "But I will come back. When I come again, I will make human beings. They will be in charge of you." 

      The Great Chief returned to his home in the sky, and the animal people scattered to all parts of the world. 

      After twelve moons, the animal people gathered to meet the Creator as he had directed. Some of them had complaints. Bluejay, Meadowlark, and Coyote did not like their names. Each of them asked to be some other creature. 

      "No," said the Creator. "I have given you your names. There is no change. My word is law. 

      "Because you have tried to change my law, I will not make the human being this time. Because you have disobeyed me, you have soiled what I brought with me. I planned to change it into a human being. Instead, I will put it in water to be washed for many moons and many snows, until it is clean again." 

      Then he took something from his right side and put it in the river. It swam, and the Creator named it Beaver. 

     "Now I will give you another law," said the Great Chief Above. "The one of you who keeps strong and good will take Beaver from the water some day and make it into a human being. I will tell you now what to do. Divide Beaver into twelve parts. Take each part to a different place and breathe into it your own breath. Wake it up. It will be a human being with your breath. Give it half of your power and tell it what to do. Today I am giving my power to one of you. He will have it as long as he is good." 

      When the Creator had finished speaking, all the creatures started for their homes--all except Coyote. The Great Chief had a special word for Coyote. 

      "You are to be head of all the creatures, Coyote. You are a power just like me now, and I will help you do your work. Soon the creatures and all the other things I have made will become bad. They will fight and will eat each other. It is your duty to keep them as peaceful as you can. 

       "When you have finished your work, we will meet again, in this land toward the east. If you have been good, if you tell the truth and obey me, you can make the human being from Beaver. If you have done wrong, someone else will make him." 

     Then the Creator went away. 

     It happened as the Creator had foretold. Everywhere the things he had created did wrong. The mountains swallowed the creatures. The winds blew them away. Coyote stopped the mountains, stopped the winds, and rescued the creatures. One winter, after North Wind had killed many people, Coyote made a law for him: "Hereafter you can kill only those who make fun of you." 

      Everywhere Coyote went, he made the world better for the animal people and better for the human beings yet to be created. When he had finished his work, he knew that it was time to meet the Creator again. Coyote thought that he had been good, that he would be the one to make the first human being. 

      But he was mistaken. He thought that he had as much power as the Creator. So he tried, a second time, to change the laws of the Great Chief Above. 

      "Some other creature will make the human being," the Creator told Coyote. "I shall take you out into the ocean and give you a place to stay for all time." 

     So Coyote walked far out across the water to an island. There the Creator stood waiting for him, beside the house he had made. Inside the house on the west side stood a black suit of clothes. On the other side hung a white suit. 

      "Coyote, you are to wear this black suit for six months," said the Creator. "Then the weather will be cold and dreary. Take off the black suit and wear the white suit. Then there will be summer, and everything will grow. 

      "I will give you my power not to grow old. You will live here forever and forever." 

      Coyote stayed there, out in the ocean, and the four Wolf brothers took his place as the head of all the animal people. Youngest Wolf Brother was strong and good and clever. Oldest Wolf Brother was worthless. So the Creator gave Youngest Brother the power to take Beaver from the water. 

      One morning Oldest Wolf Brother said to Youngest Brother, "I want you to kill Beaver. I want his tooth for a knife." 

     "Oh, no!" exclaimed Second and Third Brothers. "Beaver is too strong for Youngest Brother." 

       But Youngest Wolf said to his brothers, "Make four spears. For Oldest Brother, make a spear with four forks. For me, make a spear with one fork. Make a two-forked spear and a three-forked spear for yourselves. I will try my best to get Beaver, so that we can kill him." 

     All the animal persons had seen Beaver and his home. They knew where he lived. They knew what a big creature he was. His family of young beavers lived with him. 

     The animal persons were afraid that Youngest Wolf Brother would fail to capture Beaver and would fail to make the human being. Second and Third Wolf Brothers also were afraid. "I fear we will lose Youngest Brother," they said to each other. 

     But they made the four spears he had asked for. 

     At dusk, the Wolf brothers tore down the dam at the beavers' home, and all the little beavers ran out. About midnight , the larger beavers ran out. They were so many, and they made so much noise, that they sounded like thunder. Then Big Beaver ran out, the one the Creator had put into the water to become clean. 

      "Let's quit!" said Oldest Wolf Brother, for he was afraid. "Let's not try to kill him." 

     "No!" said Youngest Brother. "I will not stop." 

     Oldest Wolf Brother fell down. Third Brother fell down. Second Brother fell down. Lightning flashed. The beavers still sounded like thunder. Youngest Brother took the four-forked spear and tried to strike Big Beaver with it. It broke. He used the three- forked spear. It broke. He used the two-forked spear. It broke. Then he took his own one--forked spear. It did not break. 

      It pierced the skin of Big Beaver and stayed there. Out of the lake, down the creek, and down Big River , Beaver swam, dragging Youngest Brother after it. 

      Youngest Wolf called to his brothers, "You stay here. If I do not return with Beaver in three days, you will know that I am dead." 

      Three days later, all the animal persons gathered on a level place at the foot of the mountain. Soon they saw Youngest Brother coming. He had killed Beaver and was carrying it. "You remember that the Creator told us to cut it into twelve pieces," said Youngest Brother to the animal people. 

      But he could divide it into only eleven pieces. 

      Then he gave directions. "Fox, you are a good runner. Hummingbird and Horsefly, you can fly fast. Take this piece of Beaver flesh over to that place and wake it up. Give it your breath." 

      Youngest Brother gave other pieces to other animal people and told them where to go. They took the liver to Clearwater River , and it became the Nez Perce Indians. They took the heart across the mountains, and it became the Methow Indians. Other parts became the Spokane people, the Lake people, the Flathead people. Each of the eleven pieces became a different tribe. 

      "There have to be twelve tribes," said Youngest Brother. "Maybe the Creator thinks that we should use the blood for the last one. Take the blood across the Shining Mountains and wake it up over there. It will become the Blackfeet. They will always look for blood." 

      When an animal person woke the piece of Beaver flesh and breathed into it, he told the new human being what to do and what to eat. 

      "Here are roots," and the animal people pointed to camas and kouse and to bitterroot, "You will dig them, cook them, and save them to eat in the winter. 

      "Here are the berries that will ripen in the summer. You will eat them and you will dry them for use in winter." 

      The animal people pointed to chokecherry trees, to serviceberry bushes, and to huckleberry bushes. 

     "There are salmon in all the rivers. You will cook them and eat them when they come up the streams. And you will dry them to eat in the winter." 

      When all the tribes had been created, the animal people said to them "Some of you new people should go up Lake Chelan . Go up to the middle of the lake and look at the cliff beside the water. There you will see pictures on the rock. From the pictures you will learn how to make the things you will need." 

      The Creator had painted the pictures there, with red paint. From the beginning until long after the white people came, the Indians went to Lake Chelan and looked at the paintings. They saw pictures of bows and arrows and of salmon traps. From the paintings of the Creator they knew how to make the things they needed for getting their food. 



Standing at the door of the Great Spiral - 
Understanding the circular nature of time - 
Dancing the sacred dance of life - 
How to travel through the Great Spiral - 
Understanding and working with cycles 



Majestic Hawk


Clear-sightedness - Being observant - Far-memory
Messages from spirit - Guardianship - Recalling past lives
Courage - Wisdom - Illumination - Seeing the larger picture
Creativity - Truth - Experience - Wise use of opportunities
Overcoming problems

     The hawk is a messenger--the animal equivalent of an angel. He drifts upward on the currents and circles high overhead. Like eagle, he knows the big picture but can also dive down to examine the details of life. If you hear a hawk cry, pay close attention to the thoughts you were just having. Perhaps you have received a message from spirit.
Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest
Compiled and Edited by Katharine Berry Judson, 1912 
      Once there was a time when there was nothing in the world but water. About the place where Tulare Lake is now, there was a pole standing far up out of the water, and on this pole perched Hawk and Crow.

     First Hawk would sit on the pole a while, then Crow would knock him off and sit on it himself. Thus they sat on the top of the pole above the water for many ages. At last they created the birds which prey on fish. They created Kingfisher, Eagle, Pelican, and others. They created also Duck. Duck was very small but she dived to the bottom of the water, took a beakful of mud, and then died in coming to the top of the water. Duck lay dead floating on the water. Then Hawk and Crow took the mud from Duck's beak, and began making the mountains.

    They began at the place now known as Ta-hi-cha-pa Pass , and Hawk made the east range. Crow made the west one. They pushed the mud down hard into the water and then piled it high. They worked toward the north. At last Hawk and Crow met at Mount Shasta . Then their work was done. But when they looked at their mountains, Crow's range was much larger than Hawk's.

     Hawk said to Crow, "How did this happen, you rascal? You have been stealing earth from my bill. That is why your mountains are the biggest." Crow laughed.

     Then Hawk chewed some Indian tobacco. That made him wise. At once he took hold of the mountains and turned them around almost in a circle. He put his range where Crow's had been. That is why the Sierra Nevada Range is larger than the Coast Range .



Ability to heal - Endurance over long journeys - 
Ability to fly into small places to heal - 
Joy - Happiness - Love 

     Hummingbird is a symbol for love and joy. He is attracted only to the bright colored flowers because these are the ones that bring nourishment. Learn from him by paying attention to what gives you joy. Ignore the rest.

     Hummingbird feathers, believe it or not, have little true color. Instead they reflect the light in a way that makes them look as bright and beautiful as the rainbow. If we reflect light and joy in our life we too will turn the ordinary into the beautiful.
      Long long ago . . . far up in the hills there was once a small pool fed by a waterfall that tumbled down the side of a mountain. It was the favorite place of Alida, the daughter of a great and powerful Indian chief. 

     One day when Alida came to the pool to rest after a long walk, she was startled by a strangera young indian not from her tribe who was picking fruit from the trees. 

     He told her about himself to make her feel at home. He was a member of an enemy tribe who had been left behind after an attack and had lived in the forest by the pool ever since. Alida and Taroo became good friends. They would meet often at the pool. Their meetings were always brief so that no one would discover their secret friendship. In spite of Alidas precautions, there came a day when someone saw them and told her father. Alida was forbidden to return to the pool, and her father decided to arrange a wedding to a man of his own choosing in order to put an end to Alida and Taroos romance. 

     Alida was grief stricken and prayed to her god for help. Do not let me marry this man whom I do not love! The god took pity on her and changed her into a beautiful red flower. 

      Meanwhile, Taroo, knowing nothing of Alidas saddness, still waited for her by the pool, but she never arrived. One night, the moon took pity on him and called out Do not wait for Alida. Your secret has been found out, and to avoid marrying another man, she cried out to the gods for help and was changed into a delicate red flower. Help me to find Alida, Taroo cried out. The gods took pity on him also and changed him into a small multi-colored bird saying Fly, Colibri, find your love among the flowers. His wings made a humming sound as he rapidly flew away. 

      In the morning, the indians saw the new bird darting among the flowers as swift as an arrow and as bright as a jewel. They heard the humming of his wings and saw him hovering over every flower he passed and kissing the petals. They liked the bird with the music in his wings and called it a hummingbird. 

      Ever since then the little bird has hovered over every flower he finds, but he returns most often to the red ones still looking for Alida. He has not found her yet. 




Tenacity - Balanced vision - Love of open spaces - 
Aggressive defense of home - Environment - 
Fearless nature - 
Quick movement through issues relating to Air  

     This little fellow is, in a way, the badger of the airways.  It does not seem to fear any bird.  And if you ever get the chance to see even just one of them put the run on even eagles, you will understand why.  They are so small, yet fast and agile in the air, that the large birds no matter how fast they are to react, simply are not fast enough.  In the end, the large ones simple head for cover, hounded by the little warriors till they get tired of the chase. Snow Owl  


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