Category Archives: Ancestors

Smudging the Heart (Zaagidwin)

Anishinaabe elder, Spotted White Horse, spoke to us of the seven traditional teachings today.

When he began with the teaching of the eagle, a symbol for love,
he asked us to define it.
Each person described it differently.
” Giving without expectations,” was my answer.
” Ah yes, that’s the unconditional love. ”
While this is only one sort,
for myself it seems the most altruistic one, the type I most aspire to.
The Anishinaabe teach that to know peace is to know love. ”View your inner-self from the perspective of all teachings. This is to know love and to love yourself truly. Then you will be at peace with yourself, the balance of life, all things and also with the creator.”

Spotted White Horse then asked if any of us had experienced love.
Nearly all of us in the circle answered yes,
but one lady answered ‘no.’
White horse leaned into her and said ” I love you” The lady had a bitter look on her face as she rejected his offering.
”I am giving love he spoke simply, if you choose to accept it or not it’s your free will.” The bitterness never left her face.

As white horse laid out his medicines, her disdain for this was evident, he passed these sacred medicines around the circle so we could each smell them touch them, and experience them with all of our senses. The lady quickly passed them on carelessly from her hands without acknowledgement as though the medicines were a poison.

An epiphany occurred to me.. a sort of vision…
The night before I was speaking to the creator when I stated aloud ” Freedom is within.”
To hear the elder speak of the importance of our own personal paths and individual journeys within, struck a synchronistic chord in me.

When I made that statement, I was alone at night in the darkness of my apartment. I was praying to the creator to help me heal from a broken heart and a dreadful sense of loneliness.

Having White Horse appear on my path was like hearing the voice of the creator speaking back to me. It’s as though the great spirit said ”yes my child, you are on the right path, the source of peace is within you.”

I thought of the bitter woman. It almost hurt me to look at her. I fought back tears as the vision slowly came through to me.

” You did not do wrong. You only gave love as best as you knew how. The source of your suffering may seem to be within, but if you focus your vision to be sharp as the eagle, sharp enough to polish a stone, you will see the path to freedom from your suffering, the path to peace is also within you .”

I envisioned myself caught in a web of ego, throwing stones into a pond, watching them ripple out and return their karmic echoes back to me.

“We are either in a place of love or a place of fear, spoke Spotted Horse, we act on either one of these and this is what determines our fate. We come from love, love is spirit. We learn fear, fear is a human construct of the material world. Those who come from a place of fear are vibrating on a low frequency, one of selfishness.”

The elder invited us to join him in a smudging ceremony. He burned sage and fanned the eagle feather gently over the shell, creating a white cloud of healing energy.” you will smudge your head to have pure thoughts, smudge your eyes to have clear vision, your ears to hear with clarity, your mouth to taste and speak pure, your heart, the place of spirit… if you come to a point where you feel you need healing, touch this place, and if you want me to pray for you I will send a prayer to the creator, when you are done with the cleansing, say Miigwetch.

I looked around for Bitter Lady…she wasn’t in the circle.

I smudged my heart and held my hand there.
“Miigwetch White Horse…”

and the eagle feather flew on to the next person in the circle.

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Where Can We Go To Mend?

When the fireworks sound like bombs dropping on this land and the shouts are like the screaming of our red skinned brethren being torn away from home, when 13,000 years get swept under the red and white carpet, we are banging on drums and linking up arms to say don’t forget we were here and we still exist. You can’t bandage these ancestral wounds. What you are doing to the others that came here from afar, we still carry that scar. They all have a place to seek refuge in our home and Native land, but where can we go to mend?

Who will protect us from our government? It’s a true testament of the Aboriginal spirit that this heart knows it’s own truth no matter how deep you try to bury it.


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I am America

All the honest ones on the bottom rung,
hunger without a green clue about how to grow food.
Yet our ancestors had the heirlooms, which would later
be bought by corporate leaders to make
toxic morsels, without real sustenance.

They would see dollar signs in the leaves of the trees,
ignoring the animal need in the seed we
received when we breathed our first
naked breath here, when we were taught to
respect here, this wilderness,
and the corrupt ones with their
pockets lined with lies,
grew rich off our trustworthiness,
or took it, with force, when we
were powerless to defend against them.

We watched what was once fecund,
become what is now a wasteland.
An ashy womb of indifference,
too poisonous to bear fruit.
We said mother earth must have
closed her legs and refused,
and yet they pried and forced
a millennia of greed a thousand feet deep,
so that the scope of it,
could be seen to permeate
every sector, from produce,
to health care, to political
sway, still she lay there
unresponsive to their touch.

It’s like I am America
and you are Europe,
like you rush towards me
with bloody hands,
fresh from raping your
own land, and you come here
hungry, looking to build a
new empire, from the ruinous
resin of your burned down world.
Like I have only an arrow to defend myself
against your lead battalion.

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Women of the waters that are never still

The missing and murdered indigenous women all gathered together at the lost city of Atlantis.

“No one believes we are real,” said one to the other, “they will never try to find us here.”

“If they never believe then we are free. If they start to remember is when we have to worry.” Said another.

“Yes the great spirit has made an ocean of oblivion and in all their crossings they forget..

They think their cities are real and ours is a myth.”

“Yes.” spoke the chief.
“We are safe here.”

They are distracted by the stars. The stars that died centuries ago.
The apocalypse has happened already. They just don’t know it yet.

They are all dancing together in a Matrix of dreams.

They wake up with new scars and wonder how those wounds ever healed.

“Sometimes they forget to hurt when we touch them,” spoke the child of agile deer, “and they mistake this pain for pleasure.”

The turtle will rise once more. When the time is right.

“The time is close,” spoke the hungry hawk girl. I see rust over the towers of progress, it stains their rivers and kills their fish. The white men in their polished houses laugh louder now. They laugh with terrorist eyes. And all the world is quiet in disbelief.

We are safe for now, but it won’t last. This time when they come dressed as brothers we will know the truth in that horse’s eyes.

We won’t drink the fire.

We won’t accept their dirty blankets.

We know how to keep warm. We are the keepers of the fire. We must never forget who we are, even if they have. They have all fallen asleep. When the sun rises it will be too late.

“It has already come to be,” spoke the ominous owl. It has already been written. They will burn the treaties. There is no honour in sickly pacts. They are a lost tribe.

“We have already been found what is there to search for now?” The sad squaw pleaded.

We must find ourselves here. We must honour our mother and father and give our respects to our grandfathers. One day all our relations will come together and they will lose their blindness.

Only when they have regained this vision can we be one again.

“One tribe under one sky” spoke the eager eagle.

So it is has been spoken.

They passed the peace pipe from hand to hand as they gathered around the roaring fire and danced.

You could hear the echo of their drums in the lost world where the rhythm of life was mute, their voices carried in the cries of the wild.

The forgotten ones were there and they remembered. Some of them had wolf eyes that lit a path through the dark.

You could never go hungry if you followed them.

But the eyes of the others were a deep abyss surrounding an ancient island, where they held a sacred vigil in honour of our fallen sisters


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I awake to my breath in a ghostly cloud above my head.
This white clarity blinds the city.
Unable to rest, unable to dream.
He said our people, the Anishinaabe were possibly the lost citizens of Atlantis, true Atlanteans crossing the Atlantic. Thousands of years ago the Mediterranean was more like a lake and less like an ocean. The land mass of Atlantis formed a bridge from North America to Athens Greece. My kin, the Algonquins migrated to the ancient city and throughout parts of Europe, including Britain and the East. Is it possible the whites were decendants of us? Is it possible an old seed buried deep split open and released a very ancient desire to reclaim itself? He speaks of Sakimay as a place where our people originated. This was the land of my ancestors. He speaks of the seven fires prophecy and the crystal energy our people harnessed, which led to their own downfall, the sinking of our island, the melting of the glaciers, the light that flooded in like razors on our skin and stained us with the red ink of Indians. The turtle island that sank and swam down again, lost in the reaches of time. Oh Turtle, teach us of the truth sewn in hand with the ilk of our ancient medicine, until then we are lost like a city under the sea.

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