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Connection to peaceful seas - Happiness and love - Peace - Indifference to surroundings - Clear vision through emotional waters - Ability to dive (focus) into emotional waters and catch ones dreams


HOW THE KINGFISHER GOT HIS BILL -Story From James Mooney's "History, Myths, And Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees"


Some old men say the Kingfisher was meant in the beginning to be a water bird but as he had not been given either webbed feet or a good bill he could not make a living. The animals held a council over it and decided to make him a bill like a long sharp awl for a fishgig (fish spear). So they made him a fishgig and fastened it on the front of his mouth. He flew to the top of a tree, sailed out and darted down into the water, and came up with a fish on his gig. And he has been the best gigger ever since.

Some others say it this way: A Blacksnake found a Yellowhammer's nest in a hollow tree, and after swallowing the young birds, coiled up to sleep in the nest, where the mother bird found him when she came home. She went for help to the Little People, who sent her to the Kingfisher. He came, and after flying back and forth past the hole a few times, made one dart at the snake and pulled him out dead. When the animals looked they found a hole in the snake's head where the Kingfisher had pierced it with a slender tu-ga-lu-na fish, which he carried in his bill like a lance. From this the Little People concluded that he would make a first-class gigger if he only had the right spear, so they gave him his long bill as a reward.




Connection to ancient bird energy - Use of voice as a signature - Connection to water energy - The value of being a strong swimmer - Understanding dreams and astral travel

from Stith Thompson, Tales of the North American Indians (1929)

While Manabozho was once walking along a lake shore, tired and hungry, he observed a long, narrow sandbar, which extended far out into the water, around which were myriads of waterfowl, so Manabozho decided to have a feast. He had with him only his medicine bag; so he entered the brush and hung it upon a tree, now called "Manabozho tree," and procured a quantity of bark, which he rolled into a bundle and placing it upon his back, returned to the shore, where he pretended to pass slowly by in sight of the birds. Some of the Swans and Ducks, however, recognizing Manabozho and becoming frightened, moved away from the shore.

One of the Swans called out, "Ho! Manabozho, where are you going?" To this Manabozho replied, "I am going to have a song. As you may see, I have all my songs with me." Manabozho then called out to the birds, "Come to me, my brothers, and let us sing and dance." The birds assented and returned to the shore, then all retreated a short distance away from the lake to an open space where they might dance. Manabozho removed the bundle of bark from his back and placed it on the ground, got out his singing-sticks, and said to the birds, "Now, all of you dance around me as I drum; sing as loudly as you can, and keep your eyes closed. The first one to open his eyes will forever have them red and sore."

Manabozho began to beat time upon his bundle of bark, while the birds, with eyes closed, circled around him singing as loudly as they could. Keeping time with one hand, Manabozho suddenly grasped the neck of a Swan, which he broke; but before he had killed the bird it screamed out, whereupon Manabozho said, "That's right, brothers, sing as loudly as you can." Soon another Swan fell a victim; then a Goose, and so on until the number of birds was greatly reduced. Then the "Hell diver," opening his eyes to see why there was less singing than at first, and beholding Manabozho and the heap of victims, cried out, "Manabozho is killing us! Manabozho is killing us!" and immediately ran to the water, followed by the remainder of the birds.

As the "Hell-diver" was a poor runner, Manabozho soon overtook him, and said, "I won't kill you, but you shall always have red eyes and be the laughing-stock of all the birds." With this he gave the bird a kick, sending him far out into the lake and knocking off his tail, so that the "Hell-diver" is red-eyed and tailless to this day.



Magpie/Camp Robber

Camp protector - Brings messages about relatives -
Protector of lost children - Teaches the proper use of gossip  - Understanding of the balance of light and - darkness -
Seeing in darkness - Communication -
Understanding messages from Spirit - Prophecy - Intelligence -
Use of voice - Good luck


Coyote Making Fry Bread
One day Coyote was making FryBread Dough
along came Magpie, and started giving advice
Magpie said "a fist more flour, and a Pinch more Salt will make some Very fine results"
Coyote looks up at Magpie and says
"I am not making Very Fine Result!" "I am making FryBread!"


By Shadow Dancer:


Magpie was a talker he talked and talked. The birds speak with their minds but Magpie was given a tongue to talk with humans. He is the connection to humans. Magpie mostly talked to tell people who he was. He spoke to everyone who would listen.

"Look I am a Magpie I am a bird do I not look like a bird well I am. I am also a human even though I do not look like a human I am inside."

Magpie was sad and felt he did not belong to the birds or to the humans. He talked all day and imitated all he heard and retold the things as if they were his own experiences. He said them so often that he really believed he had done all the things he made up or repeated. Yet he knew in his truth that it was not so.

One day he was telling Raven that he was a human and that he also was a bird and Raven turned his bright shiny head to one side and said, "Magpie you talk and talk and you make up some very funny stories, we listen out of respect, but we are so sad because we know it is not true."

Raven went on to tell Magpie that the story of him being Chief and his wife being Medicine Woman was really funny as he had said before that he was not a member of the bird because he was a human then he said he was a bird?

If he was a human he would be with the humans and not with the birds, if he was a bird he would be with the birds and not with the humans. Raven was a wise old one and soon called the owl to council with Magpie.

Owl spoke to Magpie "Magpie you talk so much you do not hear the wind the water. You do not hear the Wolf who speaks to you." Your truth is all part of others truths and you have lost your thread that connects you to the tree of life."

Magpie was a quiet as he had ever been, he listened and he felt pain and knew that he must change his ways and start to learn his own truth.

Was it so bad to be a Magpie? No! he decided it was good to be Magpie. and he would not have to explain himself to others as to who he was and why.

Upon that realization he started to listen, he heard the water and the wind and all the other beautiful things he had not taken the time to hear. He heard the wolf and was happy.

Magpie spread his wings and flew and became the Eagle. He did not have to speak again as his flight said it all.



The power of song - Understanding the use of voice - Clarity -
Happiness - Meditating on oneself - Going inward to find answers


The Old Woman told the wolf, the turtle, and the lark that if they would help her grandson find his wife she would give each of them what he most wished. They helped her grandson and he found that his wife was stolen by the Crazy Buffalo. He killed the Crazy Buffalo and brought his wife to his grandmother's tipi. Then the wolf wished for fur clothing for himself and his people. The turtle wished for tough clothing for himself and his people. The lark and all his people had clothing which would hide them where there was no cover, so he wished for a pleasant voice for himself and all his people. The Old Woman gave each one what he wished and together they went on the trail.

Each claimed that his gift was the best and they argued and soon quarreled. They were about to fight when a young man appeared and asked them why they quarreled. They told him. He said that the only way to decide whose gift was the best was to find which would help the most in a game. The wolf proposed a hunting game, but the turtle and the lark said they could not hunt. The turtle proposed a swimming game, but the wolf and lark said they could not swim. The lark pro posed a singing game, but the wolf and turtle said they could not sing. Then the young man said that a running game would decide the question and all agreed to run a race. The young man told them that they must run by a plum thicket, across a marsh, and to the top of a hill where they would find white and colored clays; and that the first that brought white clay to him would win the race. They ran. The wolf and turtle ran side by side, for neither could run swifter than the other; but the lark ran far behind them.

When the wolf was near the thicket he saw a bundle in a plum bush and sniffed toward it. The scent was not like any he had smelled, so he became curious and wanted to know what was in the bundle. He asked the turtle to wait. The turtle. said he would when he came to the marsh. The wolf walked around the bush and eyed the bundle with care. Then he reared against the bush and sniffed at it, but still he was puzzled. He jumped to pull the bundle down, but did not reach it and the thorns on the bush pricked him. Again he jumped, and again the thorns pricked him. This made him angry and he determined to get the bundle.

He jumped many times. Each time the thorns pricked him and made many wounds on his back and sides. Finally, he pulled the bundle down. He was so angry that he shook it from side to side and it flopped against his sides. The bundle was a young woman's menstrual bundle and it smeared its contents into the wounds of the wolf. This made him itch so that he must scratch himself, but the more he scratched the more he itched. He scratched and scratched, until he tore his fur clothing and his blood flowed and he forgot the race. The turtle ran to the marsh and there waited for the wolf a long time. He thought that the wolf had tricked him and gone on to the hill.

He saw a puff ball; because it looked like white clay he thought he would trick the wolf and fool the young man with it. So he carried it back and showed it to the young man who said that the turtle was the first to show something as proof that he had been on the top of the hill.

When the lark ran by the thicket, he saw the wolf jumping and this encouraged him to run faster. When he came to the marsh, he saw the turtle waiting, and he was more encouraged, so he ran on to the top of the hill. Here he took a lump of yellow clay and ran to carry it back to the young man. When he was crossing the marsh, he stumble-d and dropped the clay into black mud. He picked it up, but was in too much of a hurry to clean the black mud from it. When he was near the young man, he saw the turtle sitting and smiling so he thought he had lost the race and wept. His tears washed the yellow clay from his mouth and made the. front of his clothes yellow while the mud made a black stripe on the yellow.

The wolf came last, scratching and howling, and the turtle taunted him, saying that he howled like an old woman mourning for the dead, and whimpered like a hungry babe. The turtle strutted and swaggered saying that nothing could make him whimper. The young man said that the turtle was first to return in the race, but he must prove his boast that nothing could make him cry out if he should lose. The turtle said he could prove in any manner all that he had said. Then the young man placed the puff ball on the turtle's back. It quickly grew so large that its weight was all that the turtle could hold up. The puff ball continued to grow and soon it crushed the turtle's body to the ground and made his legs short and cracked. Still the puff ball grew and mashed the body of the turtle flat, and forced his breath from him so that he lay as if dead. Then the puff ball became black and light as a feather, but still the turtle could not straighten his legs or make his body as it was, so he hid his head under his thick hard skin.

Then the young man laughed loud and long and told the wolf, the turtle, and the lark that his name was Iktomi and that because they quarreled about the good things the Old Woman had given instead of using them, he had tricked them and caused them to bring on themselves that which would be with them and with their people forever; that because the wolf had meddled with that which was not his affair whenever he or any of his people meddled with a young woman's bundle they should itch and scratch and lose their fur clothing. In this manner the wolves get the mange. He said that because the turtle had cheated to win the race his legs and his people's should forever be short and crooked and their bodies should be flat, so that they could never run in a race; that because he had lied about the puff ball by saying that it was white clay, neither he nor his people should ever speak and should always hide their heads for shame; that the lark had won the race, but because he had brought yellow instead of white clay, his clothes and the clothes of his people should always be yellow in front and there should be a black stripe on the yellow, so that none of them could ever hide themselves where there was no cover.



Using knowledge gained on the outside to heal the inside -
Learning through experience - Curiosity - Attitude - Territoriality - Overcoming fear - Intelligence


THE SACRED WEED--Blackfoot-Richard Erdoes & Alfonso Ortiz  


There once were four brothers, all spiritual men who had power. In a vision the oldest of them heard a voice saying: "Out there is a sacred weed; pick it and burn it." The man looked around, saw the strange weed, and put it in the fire. It gave off a very pleasing aroma.

Then the second brother had a dream in which a voice said: "Take this herb. Chop it fine. Put it into a hide bag." The man did what he was told, and the dry herb in his hide bag was wonderfully fragrant. The third brother had a vision in which he saw a man hollowing out a bone and putting the strange weed into it. A voice said, "Make four pipes like this," and the third brother carved four pipes out of an animals leg bones.

Then the youngest of the four brothers had a vision. A voice told him: "You four men light your pipes and smoke. Inhale the smoke; exhale it. Let the smoke ascend to the clouds." The voice also taught him the songs and prayers that went with smoking.

So the four medicine men, born of the same mother, smoked together. This was the first time that men had ever smoked, and they sang and prayed together as they did so.

The brothers, who called the sacred weed nawakosis, were meant to teach its use to the people. But nawakosis made them powerful and wise and clear-minded, and they did not want to share it with others. They planted the sacred weed in a secret place that only they knew. They guarded the songs and prayers and rituals that went with smoking. They formed a Tobacco Society, just the four of them.

So there was anger, there was war, there was restlessness of spirit, there was impiety. Nawakosis was meant to calm anger, to make men worship, to make peace, to ease the mind. But without the sacred herb, unity and peace were lacking.

A young man called Bull-by-Himself said to his wife: "These four powerful ones have been given something good to share with the people, but they are keeping it for themselves. So things are bad. I must find a way to plant and reap the sacred weed they call nawakosis."

Bull-by-Himself and his wife went to a sacred lake and set up their tipi close by its shore. The man left every day to hunt and look for the plant nawakosis. The woman stayed in the lodge to quill, tan, and prepare food. One day while she was alone, she heard somebody singing beautifully. She searched everywhere to find the source of the music and discovered that it was coming from a beaver house close by the shore. "It must be the beavers singing," she thought. "Their songs are lovely. I hope they dont stop."

Though her husband came home with plenty of meat, he had not found nawakosis. The woman called his attention to the music, but he said, "I hear nothing. Its your imagination."

"No," she said, "I can hear it clearly. Put your ear to the beaver house." He did, but still heard nothing.

Then the wife took her knife and made a hole in the beaver lodge. Through it they could not only hear the beavers sing, but also watch them performing a strange, beautiful dance.

"My young brothers," the wife called to them, "be of a sharing spirit. Teach me your wonderful song and your medicine!"

The Beavers answered: "Close the hole you have made, because it lets the cold in. Then well come out and visit you." So she sealed their wall up, and that night four beavers came to Bull-by-Himselfs lodge. As soon as they were inside they turned themselves into humans-four nice-looking young men. One asked: "What have you come here for?"

"I have come," said Bull-by-Himself, "to find the sacred weed called nawakosis."

"Then this is the right place," said the man-beavers. "We are water people, and nawkosis is water medicine. We will give you this sacred herb, but first you must learn the songs, the prayers, the dances, the ceremonies that go with it."

"There are four powerful men in our tribe," said Bull-by-Himself, "who ahve the medicine and the knowledge, but keep them from us."

"Ah," said the man-beavers, "that is wrong. This sacred weed is meant to be shared. Here is what you must do. By day, go out and get the skin of every four-legged and two-legged creature that lives in and around the water-except, of course, beaver. You must get the skins of the muskrat and otter, of the duck and kingfisher, of all creatures like that, because they represent water. Sun and water mean life. Sun begets life, and water makes it grow."

So every day Bull-by-Himself went out for the skins, while his wife scraped, tanned, and smoked them. And every night the four man-beavers came to teach them the prayers, songs, and dances that go with nawakosis. After a while the beavers said: "Now all is ready. Now you have all the skins, and now you have the knowledge. Make the skins, which represent water power, into a bag, into a medicine bundle. Tomorrow night well come again for the last time to tell you what to do."

The following night the beavers came as they had promised. Thye brought with them the sacred weed nawakosis. The top of the stalks was covered with little round seeds, and the man-beavers put the seeds into the medicine bundle the woman had prepared.

"Its planting time now," said the Beavers. "Dont touch nawakosis before youre ready to plant. Choose a place where there is not too much shade and not too much sunlight. Mix plenty of brown earth with plenty of black earth, and keep the soil loose. Say the prayers we have taught you. Then you, Bull-by-Himself, must take a deer horn and with its point make holes in the earth-one for each seeds. And you, his wife, must use a buffalo-horn spoon to drop one seed into each hole. Keep singing the songs we taught you all the while. Then both of you dance lightly over this earth, tamping down the seeds. After that you just wait for nawakosis to grow. Now we have taught you everything. Now we go." The nice-looking young men left, turning back into beavers as they went.

Bull-by-Himself and his wife planted the sacred weed as they had been told. The four medicine-men brothers said to one another: "What can this man, Bull-by-Himself, and his wife be planting? Their songs sound familiar." They sent somebody to find out, and this person came back saying: "They are planting nawakosis, doing it in a sacred manner.

The four powerful men began to laugh. "No, it cant be. Its some useless weed theyre planting. No one but us can plant nawakosis. No one but us can use it. No one but us has its power."

But when it was time to harvest nawakosis, a great hailstorm destroyed the secret tobacco patch of the four medicine brothers. Nothing was left, and they had not saved a single seed. They said to each other: "perhaps this man and his wife did plant nawakosis after all. Perhaps the hail hasnt destroyed their tobacco patch."

Again the four brothers sent someone to find out, and that person came back saying: "This man and his wife had no hail on their field. Here is what they ahve been growing." He showed the brotehrs some leaves. "It is indeed nawakosis," they said, shaking their heads in wonder.

Thus with the help of the beaver people, Bull-by-Himself and his wife brought the sacred tobacco to the tribes, who have been smoking it in a sacred manner ever since.

-Retold from several nineteenth-century sources.  



Patience - Use of body movement - Camouflage -
Ability to rest when others cannot - Nocturnal vision


Once upon a time, when the Field Mouse was out gathering wild beans for the winter, his neighbor, the Buffalo , came down to graze in the meadow. This the little Mouse did not like, for he knew that the other would mow down all the long grass with his prickly tongue, and there would be no place in which to hide. He made up his mind to offer battle like a man.

"Ho, Friend Buffalo, I challenge you to a fight! "he exclaimed in a small, squeaking voice.

The Buffalo paid no attention, thinking it only a joke. The Mouse angrily repeated the challenge, and still his enemy went on quietly grazing. Then the little Mouse laughed with contempt as he offered his defiance. The Buffalo at last looked at him and replied carelessly:

"You had better keep still, little one, or I shall come over there and step on you, and there will be nothing left! "

"You can't do it! "replied the Mouse.

"I tell you to keep still," insisted the Buffalo , who was getting angry. "If you speak to me again, I shall certainly come and put an end to you! "

"I dare you to do it! "said the Mouse, provoking him.

Thereupon the other rushed upon him. He trampled the grass clumsily and tore up the earth with his front hoofs. When he had ended, he looked for the Mouse, but he could not see him anywhere.

"I told you I would step on you, and there would be nothing left! "he muttered.

Just then he felt a scratching inside his right ear. He shook his head as hard as he could, and twitched his ears back and forth. The gnawing went deeper and deeper until he was half wild with the pain. He pawed with his hoofs and tore up the sod with his horns. Bellowing madly, he ran as fast as he could, first straight forward and then in circles, but at last he stopped and stood trembling. Then the Mouse jumped out of his ear, and said:

"Will you own now that I am master? "

"No! "bellowed the Buffalo , and again he started toward the Mouse, as if to trample him under his feet. The little fellow was nowhere to be seen, but in a minute the Buffalo felt him in the other ear. Once more he became wild with pain, and ran here and there over the prairie, at times leaping high in the air. At last he fell to the ground and lay quite still. The Mouse came out of his ear, and stood proudly upon his dead body.

"Eho! "said he, "I have killed the greatest of all beasts. This will show to all that I am master! "

Standing upon the body of the dead Buffalo , he called loudly for a knife with which to dress his game.

In another part of the meadow, Red Fox, very hungry, was hunting mice for his breakfast. He saw one and jumped upon him with all four feet, but the little Mouse got away, and he was terribly disappointed.

All at once he thought he heard a distant call: "Bring a knife! Bring a knife! "

When the second call came, Red Fox started in the direction of the sound. At the first knoll he stopped and listened, but hearing nothing more, he was about to go back. Just then he heard the call plainly, but in a very thin voice, "Bring a knife!" Red Fox immediately set out again and ran as fast as he could.

By and by he came upon the huge body of the Buffalo lying upon the ground. The little Mouse still stood upon the body.

"I want you to dress this Buffalo for me and I will give you some of the meat," commanded the Mouse.

"Thank you, my friend, I shall be glad to do this for you," he replied, politely.

The Fox dressed the Buffalo , while the Mouse sat upon a mound near by, looking on and giving his orders. "You must cut the meat into small pieces," he said to the Fox. When the Fox had finished his work, the Mouse paid him with a small piece of liver. He swallowed it quickly and smacked his lips.

"Please, may I have another piece?" he asked quite humbly.

"Why, I gave you a very large piece! How greedy you are!" exclaimed the Mouse. "You may have some of the blood clots," he sneered. So the poor Fox took the blood clots and even licked off the grass. He was really very hungry.

"Please may I take home a piece of the meat?" he begged. "I have six little folks at home, and there is nothing for them to eat."

"You can take the four feet of the Buffalo . That ought to be enough for all of you!"

"Hi, hi! Thank you, thank you!" said the Fox. "But, Mouse, I have a wife also, and we have had bad luck in hunting. We are almost starved. Can't you spare me a little more?"

"Why," declared the Mouse, "I have already overpaid you for the little work you have done. However, you can take the head, too!"

Thereupon the Fox jumped upon the Mouse, who gave one faint squeak and disappeared.

If you are proud and selfish you will lose all in the end. 




Proper use of song in healing - Using vibrational energy to see in shadow - Use of song in moving through fear - Connection with the Moon


THE DEER STAR-A Paiute Legend -Mary Austin, St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine. Vol. 28 No. 4, February 1901   


Sand in a Whirlwind

Hear now a tale of the deer-star,

Tale of the days agone,

When a youth rose up for the hunting

In the bluish light of dawn --

Rose up for the red deer hunting,

And what should a hunter do

Who has never an arrow feathered,

Nor a bow strung taut and true?

The women laughed from the doorways, the maidens mocked at the spring;

For thus to be slack at the hunting is ever a shameful thing.

The old men nodded and muttered, but the youth spoke up with a frown:

"If I have no gear for the hunting, I will run the red deer down."


He is off by the hills of the morning,

By the dim, untrodden ways;

In the clean, wet, windy marshes

He has startled the deer agraze;

And a buck of the branching antlers

Streams out from the fleeing herd,

And the youth is apt to the running

As the tongue to the spoken word.

They have gone by the broken ridges, by mesa and hill and swale,

Nor once did the red deer falter, nor the feet of the runner fail;

So lightly they trod on the lupines that scarce were the flower-stalks bent,

And over the tops of the dusky sage the wind of their running went

They have gone by the painted desert,

Where the dawn mists lie uncurled,

And over the purple barrows

On the outer rim of the world.

The people shout from the village,

And the sun gets up to spy

The royal deer and the runner,

Clear shining in the sky.

And ever the hunter watches for the rising of that star

When he comes by the summer mountains where the haunts of the red deer are,

When he comes by the morning meadows where the young of the red deer hide;

He fares him forth to the hunting while the deer and the runner bide.  



White Breasted Mountain Quail


Living close to the Earth - Ability to blend into the background -
Finding peaceful solutions to peril - Courage to face hardships



Rebirth without fear - Ability to tear down what needs to be rebuilt -
Renewal - Ability to find light in darkness - Courage of self-reflection - Introspection - Comfort with self - Honoring ancestors - Divination -
Change in consciousness - New occurrences - Eloquence




Long ago, near the beginning of the world, Gray Eagle was the guardian of the sun and moon and stars, of fresh water and of fire. Gray Eagle hated people so much that he kept these things hidden. People lived in darkness, without fire and without fresh water.

Gray Eagle had a beautiful daugher, and Raven fell in love with her. At that time Raven was a handsome young man.(1) He changed himself into a snow-white bird, and as a snow-white bird he pleased Gray Eagle's daughter. She invited him to her father's lodge.

When Raven saw the sun and teh moon and the stars and fresh water hanging on the sides of Eagle's lodge, he knew what he should do. He watched for his chance to seize them when no one was looking. He stole all of them, and a brand of fire also, and flew out of the lodge through a smoke hole.

As soon as Raven got outside, he hung the sun up in the sky. It made so much light that he was able to fly far out to an island in the middle of the ocean. When the sun set, he fastened the moon up in the sky and hung the stars around in different places. By this new light he kept on flying, carrying with him the fresh water and the brand of fire he had stolen. It fell to the ground and there became the source of all the freshwater streams and lakes in the world.

The Raven flew on, holding the brand of fire in his bill.

The smoke from the fire blew back over his white feathers and made them black.. When his bill began to burn, he had to drop the firebrand. It struck rocks and went into the rocks. That is why, if you strike two stones together, fire will drop out.

Raven's feathers never became white again after they were blackened by the smoke from the firebrand. That is why Raven is now a black bird.

(1) Raven was the benefactor of the mythological people along the shores of Puget Sound and the beaches of the Olypic Peninsula , much as Coyote was of the ancients east of the Cascade Range . Among many other deeds, according to Quillayute mythology, Raven brought the blueback salmon to the rivers along the Washington coast. Having eaten some in the underground home of his father-in-law, Moke, young Raven determined to take a blueback salmon home with him. Pursued, he hid the scales of the fish in his mouth and nostrils. He came up to the south. He threw one scale of the salmon into the Quillayute River , one into the Hoh, and two into the Queets. He washed off all the rest of the scales into the Quinault River . That is why there are a few blueback salmon in the Quillayte and Hoh rivers today, many in the Queets, and very many in the Quinault. "So much for that."




The raven is the keeper of the mystery. His shiny black feathers remind us of the great unknown, which need not be frightening when we learn to trust that Spirit is always guiding us.

When we give up control and enter the mystery synchronicities work in our favor, chance happenings bring us good luck, and life magically begins to work. Allow raven to remind you that magic is always happening behind the scenes. Ask him how you can learn to recognize it.



Connection to the water plant kingdom - Doing trance work -
Use of camouflage in protection of family -
Ability to sway with the winds of change

ORIGIN OF THE ANIMAL-Jicarilla-Apache-Native American Lore

When Apaches emerged from the underworld, they travelled southward for four days. They had no other food than two kinds of seeds, which they ground between two stones.

Near where they camped on the fourth night, one tepee stood apart from the others. While the owner and his wife were absent for a short time, a Raven brought a quiver of arrows and a bow, hanging them on the lodge pole. When the children came out of the lodge, they took down the quiver and found some meat inside. They ate it and instantly became very fat.

Upon her return, the mother noticed grease on the hands and faces of her children, who told her what had happened. The woman hurried to tell her husband the tale. All the tribe marvelled at the wonderful food that made the children so fat. How they hoped the Raven might soon return with more of his good food.

When Raven discovered that his meat had been stolen, he flew eastward to his mountain home beyond the normal range of man. A bat followed Raven and later informed the Apaches where Raven lived. That night the Apache Chief called a council meeting. They decided to send a delegation to try and obtain some of Raven's special kind of meat.

In four days the Apache delegation reached the camp of the ravens, but could not obtain the information they desired. They discovered, however, a great circle of ashes where the ravens ate their meals. The Apaches decided to spy upon the ravens. That night the Medicine Man changed an Apache boy into a puppy to spy from a nearby bush. The main delegation broke camp and started homeward, leaving behind the puppy.

Next morning the ravens examined the abandoned camp of the Apaches. One of the young ravens found the puppy and was so pleased, he asked for permission to keep it under his blanket. Toward sunset, the puppy peaked out and saw an old raven brush aside some ashes from the fireplace. He then removed a large flat stone. Beneath was an opening through which the old raven disappeared. But when he returned he led a buffalo, which was then killed and eaten by all the ravens.

For four days the puppy spied upon the ravens, and each evening a buffalo was brought up from the depths and devoured. Now that he was certain where the ravens obtained their good food, the puppy resumed his normal shape.

Early on the fifth morning, with a white feather in one hand and a black one in the other, he descended through the opening beneath the fireplace.

In the underworld, he saw four buffaloes and placed the white feather in the mouth of the nearest one. He commanded it to follow him. But the first buffalo told him to take the feather to the last buffalo. This he did, but the fourth buffalo sent him again to the first one, into whose mouth the boy thrust the white feather.

"You are now the King of the Animals," declared the boy.

Upon returning to the above-world, the boy was followed by all the animals present upon the earth at that time. As the large herd passed through the opening, one of the ravens awoke, hurrying to close the lid. Upon seeing that all the animals willingly followed the Apache boy, the raven exclaimed, "When you kill any of the animals, remember to save the eyes for me."

For four days the boy followed the tracks of the Apaches and overtook them with his giant herd of animals. Soon they all returned to the camp of the Apaches, where the Chief slew the first buffalo for a feast that followed. The boy remembered and saved the eyes for the ravens.

One old grandmother who lived in a brush lodge was annoyed with one of the deer that ate some of her lodge covering. Snatching a stick from the fire, she struck the deer's nose and the white ash stuck there leaving a white mark that can still be seen on the descendants of that deer.

"Hereafter, you shall avoid mankind," she pronounced. "Your nose will tell you when you are too close to them."

Thus ended the short period of harmony between man and the animals. Each day the animals wandered farther and farther from the tribes. Apaches prayed that the animals would return so they could enjoy the good meat again. It is mostly at night when the deer appear, but not too close, because the old grandmother told them to be guided by their noses!



Understanding the power of song - Happiness -
Guide in the wisdom of change

How Robin Got His Red Breast Micmac


Late one spring day, a huge, lazy mother bear stretched and slowly began to wake herself from her long winter nap. She felt grouchy and hungry as she ambled down the rocky hillside in search of something to eat.

Little Chickadee spotted the bear and grew very hungry himself. Because he was so small to hunt the bear alone, he called six other hunters to help. They soon began chasing the big bear, but not before making sure that Chickadee remembered his cooking pot. So important was the cooking pot that the hunters placed a large bird on either side of Chickadee so he would not fly after some false trail.

The winter had been a long, harsh one, and all seven hunters were hungry as they began their pursuit of Mother Bear. All spring and summer they steadfastly followed her. By autumn, one by one, the slower and heavier hunters, beginning with the two owls, flew lower and lower and began to lose the trail. The next to fall behind were Blue Jay and Pigeon.

Of the seven hunters, the only ones remaining in the chase were Robin, Chickadee, and Moose Bird. These three eventually caught up with Mother Bear in the middle of autumn.

Seeing she had no other choice, Mother Bear turned and reared up to fight the three. Taking careful aim, Robin shot an arrow and Mother Bear fell over on her back. By this time, Robin had waited long enough to eat some bear fat. In his eagerness, he jumped on Mother Bear and became covered with blood in the struggle.

Robin quickly flew to a large maple tree and tried to shake the blood off his brown feather coat. Although he made short work of cleaning off most of the blood, there was one spot on his breast that he could not reach.

"You will have a red breast as long as your name is Robin," shouted Chickadee. And so it is today.

The blood that Robin scattered fell over the maple tree he was sitting on. Some splashed on smaller trees far below. That is why, every autumn, maple leaves turn the brightest red of all trees.



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