Saturday, July 17, 2010
Sunday, July 18 is a “Double Hummingbird Reed Day”
It’s both a Reed Day and a Reed Week, and both the Week and Day also have Hummingbird influence.
Here’s why this symbolism is important:
In the creation story, Sky Woman or Star Woman falls to Earth through a hole at the base of the Tree of Wisdom, or from the Pleiades (possibly two ways of saying the same thing). She is pregnant, and close to her delivery time.
The firstborn, Flint Knife, has burst from her side his impatience to see the world. He walks away from his mortally wounded mother after he is born.
The second son, Reed, is born the natural way, and stays with his mother to care for her, and follows her instructions for her burial. He is rewarded with the gift of medicine and vision, gifts denied to Flint Knife.
In the Cherokee version of this story, Flint Knife is not evil, just inconsiderate and selfish. His wants and needs come first, just like a child.
Flint finds its purpose in being rigid, solid, hard. It fractures easily, and can be worked to an edge for blades.
Reed has rigidity also, but finds its true purpose in being hollow… as a flute, pipe stem, bubbling stick, blowgun.
Both Flint and Reed have their legitimate purposes and value. In the stories, Reed cannot accomplish one of his heroic works alone, and must call on Flint to join forces to defeat greater and greater opponents. An arrow can be made only of reed, but it penetrates farther with a flint arrowhead.
Flint Knife walks off, and builds a small house by the beach. He sees only himself, and if always depicted singly.
Reed, however, stays with his Mother, and meets the Four Sisters, one of whom becomes his wife. Reed sees the needs of others, and sees himself in constant relationship. Reed is usually depicted as a pair of reeds.
The pipe stem, the bubbling stick (a tube used to blow the healer’s breath into a medicine liquid), the sucking tube (a tube used to extract malicious influences from a patient) are all signs of the healer, and find their value in their emptiness. The scepter of authority carried by a chief was at one time made of reed. Some of the Lakotas speak of aspiring to be a “hollow bone,” a veiled reference to the stem of the first Pipe brought to them, which was fashioned from the thighbone of a buffalo.
The First Wind, Bird, or Influence of the Cherokee Calendar (there are 13) is the Hummingbird… small, fast, resourceful, and amazingly aggressive for its size. It is the initiator, the first volunteer. “One Reed” was the name of an important Mayan king, a reformer, who opposed the tyranny of “Flint Knife.” This may be the origin of the story, that this human pair was somehow reincarnations of the twins in the Creation story.
With both the Week and Day set at “One Reed” or “Hummingbird Reed”, part of the message is clear – this is the day to start a new cycle: don’t just pray for renewal, for reconciliation, for healing, for peace, but follow the example of the tiny hummingbird. Get up and Do something, fly as fast as possible, challenge adversaries much larger than yourself and drive them out of your life!
All the while, remain a hollow reed/bone, an open conduit of the Divine Will.
Raise your pipes, raise your flutes… if that doesn’t work, raise your bagpipes. It’s not going to be a “sit and reflect” day, it’s going to be a “get off the bench and into the game” day.
Reed, Ihiya ee-HEE-yah
Flint, Dawisgala dah-WISS-gah-LAH
Earth, Elohi ey-loh-HEE
Heaven, Galvlati gah-luhn-LAH-tee
Healing peace, Nvwadohiyada,
may you path be blessed,
Reminder: the 2010 Cherokee Calendar should be available by October
Posted by TGC at 8:03 AM
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Today (Sunday) is the New Moon and a solar eclipse, which unfortunately, will not be visible in the northern hemisphere.
The New Moon is the beginning of the Cherokee month, a day of quiet reflection, fasting, prayer and purification. Observant Cherokees will fast up to four days. This particular New Moon/Eclipse combination is associated with emotion changes, mood swings, clearing out the clutter of the past - time to send your 'baggage' to the auction house or trash bin!!
Think of New moon as a monthly sabbath instead of a weekly. In the dark of the new moon, you reflect on what you did in the previous month, and what you need to do in the coming month to be in harmony (dohi) with the order of things.. Divine Will, righteousness/justice. In the old days, the elders might remain "separate" for a day or two, putting aside the normal business of the world. Part of that was separating yourself from food gathering and preparation, which took a big chunk of time in the old days. It was also a gentle internal bathing. As you know, some ceremonies were preceded by purging. Fasting is a gentler way of cleaning our your innards.
Full moon, on the other hand, was party time because the lights were on all night! This was the time of the gatiyo or stomp dance ceremony in the Southeast, and widely regarded as the best time to conduct healing because of the additional dose of solar energy reflected from the moon.
Today is a “Twins” Day on the old Calendar. The Twins Flint Knife and Reed, the first Real People born on this earth after we came from our old home, represent many things. They represent choices, alternatives
In the creation story, the firstborn Flint Knife walks away from his mortally wounded mother after he is born. In his impatience to see the world, he has burst from her side. The second son, Reed, stays with her and follows her instructions for her burial. He is rewarded with the gift of medicine and vision, gifts denied to Flint Knife.
In the Cherokee version of this story, Flint Knife is not evil, just inconsiderate, His wants and needs come first, just like a child.
Our Mother the Earth is mortally wounded, and the arterial bleeding in the Gulf of Mexico will affect the entire world. No other species did that, just us.
Flint finds its purpose in being rigid, solid, hard. Reed has rigidity also, but finds its true purpose in being hollow… as a flute, pipe stem, bubbling stick, blowgun. Both have their legitimate purposes and value. I the stories, Reed must call on Flint, and they must join forces to defeat greater and greater opponents. An arrow can be made only of reed, but it penetrates farther with a flint arrowhead.
So today, as the moon covers the sun, which Twin are you? This is a day to examine the difference; both Reed and Flint also have their own days. Take a second look: foraged foods are wonderful, but so many have a nearly-identical twin that's poisonous. Take a third look at your decisions.
As many of you know, I've spent years working with the Cherokee Calendar, re-assembling it from bits and pieces of oral teachings. It forms a wonderful framework in the form of day-signs and week-signs for understanding at least part of the sweep of Cherokee oral tradition, especially creation stories.
I also offer birth date analyses based on the calendar. In ancient times, the elders would consider the implications of a child birth date when selecting a name. That tradition continues at least into the 20th century in some remote communities of East Tennessee, and possibly elsewhere.
I usually charge $97 for a report that averages 20 - 24 pages. If you follow the link above, I'll give you a $20 discount. AND, if you are getting this as a Father's Day gift, I'll guarantee you'll have it by next Friday as a PDF file -- IF you order by Tuesday. It takes HOURS for me to research and compile one of these, so it's a real bargain.
And if you're not already Speak Cherokee student, now's the time!