Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday Special - Your Christmas Card and Enclosed Gift!

Hello again!

You’ve told me that you are interested in having another full-year special, and so I’ve posted the links.
Click on the link to see how to get $220 of membership benefits for $147 This offer will be removed no later than January 1, 2011.  I know that the economy is tough, so I’m making this available for five full weeks so to allow as many people as possible from my mailing list the chance to take advantage of it.  Consider this your Cherokee Christmas gift card for the year - and shake that card until the real gift drops out!

As you can see, my big green friend is getting into the holiday spirit!  But what you may not know is that he also sings “I’m a little teapot,” because in Cherokee the same word is used for both of tea kettle and an alligator .  If you’ve ever seen the old hobnail style cast iron tea kettles that sat in a fire, you can easily see the resemblance to an alligator puffing and snorting, its breath fogging up on a cold morning.  The word written beneath him is “tsulasdi,” the word for both tea kettle and alligator.  

The word above him his “danistayohihv”, which a literally means “they go shooting.” Why would Christmas be celebrated with that phrase?  Because in the old days, the big family Christmas dinner required the men to go hunting on Christmas morning.  Christmas morning was filled with the festive sounds of children shredding and crackling gift wrapping paper, and the sounds of hunters in the woods.  Another sound of the holiday is the sound of firecrackers, especially here in the South.  Imagine long strings of firecrackers and think of the similarity to long strings of flashing Christmas tree lights.  See the similarity?  So the expression "they go shooting" refers to hunters, firecrackers, and Christmas tree lights.

The Christmas season is a feast of sights and sounds, colors and flavors. It's my hope that by this time next year, you will be able to describe some of that experience in Cherokee!

Nvwadohiyada, healing and peace to you, 
Brian Wilkes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Scratcher", a New Path, and Holiday Gift Ideas.

Hello everybody!

In case you're wondering what happened to me, I've been fighting with a hard drive crash.  The backup computer is in place and functioning, so everything should be back to normal and a few days.

Today, Monday November 15 is a day of the Scratcher.  The Cherokee word kanuga simply means the brier thorn.  Thorns were used in a type of ritual comb that was raked across the surface of the skin to draw blood.  This created a series of openings in the skin upon which medicinal poultices could be applied.

But the word also has a symbolic meaning…  rattlesnake fang or tooth.  Some scratchers were made of snake teeth, and in some cases the scratching was done with an eagle claw.  (Snake and Eagle are opposing day signs in the traditional calendar.)

Since rattlesnakes were once thought to only strike and kill those people who for some reason deserved it, it was considered bad luck to admit out loud that you had been struck by a snake.  The euphemism was to be "scratched by a thorn."  Even today, Cherokees will sometimes speak of being "scratched," even though they will admit that they were scratched by a snake.
The scratching ceremony was done either as a preparation for medical treatment or as a preparation for another ceremony.  In that sense, it was considered the end of one cycle and the beginning of another, a fork in the road that represented both a continuation of the old path and the beginning of a new one.

We are soon coming to the beginning of a new year.  We hope that you will take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about Cherokee tradition and language, and more importantly, to pass that on to your children and grandchildren.  Both the language and the calendar are complex, and require long study before they seem familiar.  However, both provide you with new ways of seeing and describing the world that we inhabit and share.

The 2011 Cherokee Calendar is now available in a download version.

The Cherokee Calendar Calculation and Analysis makes a unique Christmas gift.  Because you were part of this mailing list, you can have one researched and composed for you for a $20.00 discount.  That's the regular price with Andrew Jackson removed!  Let's see how he likes being removed!

Just one thing to be aware of, because of the hours required to research, analyze and compose each report, I can only work so fast.  That means that the deadline for orders with guaranteed Christmas digital delivery will be Friday, December 10. After that, it's iffy.

That's all for now!  I wish everyone of you as safe and happy holiday season with your families.

Brian Wilkes

Monday, November 1, 2010

A New Month, and the 2011 Calendar Upgrade is available!

Olmec Figurines with miniature stelae

Monday (Nov 1) begins the month of Nvdatequa (Big Moon), considered the end of summer and beginning of winter. In the old days, this was considered the start of a new year, the time when God had created the world in its most brilliant colors. We give thanks for the creation of this beautiful Earth, and give thanks for being  honored to be part of this creation.

Tuesday (Nov 2) is a Flower (Atsilvsgi) Day, the end of a 20-day cycle, and a time for additional prayers for reconciliation of conflicts with other people and with nature itself.


As before, it includes the 2011 Cherokee Calendar, Manual, and even the 2010 Calendar.

I listened to your comments on the original July release, and have added several features.
  • There is a more thorough explanation of the Bird or Wind Signs. 
  • There is an explanation of the Olmec origins of the Calendar, and a commentary of the Olmec view of the 20 day signs as a long journey of the soul, not unlike the Egyptian “Book of the Dead” or the Tibetan “Bardo Thodol”.  (Physical birth, life, and death are concluded by the 6th sign, and then the REAL journey begins!)
  • The Upgrade includes a page of bonuses, including discounts on Calendar Analysis Reports and DNA testing.
 If you purchased the July release and for some reason did NOT yet receive the Upgrade, please contact me


For those who are enrolling in Speak Cherokee, please remember that I send the access information by email, and I use the email address attached to your PayPal account unless otherwise requested. If that email in no longer valid, it won’t reach you. If you have not white-listed my email address, it will bounce or go to your junk mail file.  This has happened a few times, and it’s been very frustrating, since I couldn’t reach the student right away. In one case, the student had a business, and I was able to look up the phone number online.

If you are trying to reach me to complain about this, please include a telephone number, since we’ve established that email isn’t working for some reason.

Brian Wilkes