The World on the Turtle’s Back

turtle

An Iroquois myth that I have chosen to embellish! 

 

In the beginning there was no world, no land, no creatures of the kind that are around us now, and there were no men. But there was a great ocean which occupied space as far as anyone could see. Above the ocean was a great void of air. And in the air there lived birds of the sea: in the ocean lived the fish and the creatures of the deep. Far above this unpeopled world, there was a Sky World. Here lived gods who were like people- like Iroquois.

In the Sky World there was a man who had a wife, and the wife was expecting a child.  The woman became hungry for all kinds of strange delicacies, as women do when they are with child.  She kept her husband busy almost to distraction finding delicious things for her to eat.  In the middle of the Sky World there grew a Great Tree which was not like any of the trees that we know.  It was tremendous; it had grown there forever. It had enormous roots that spread out from the floor of the Sky World. And on its branches there were many different kinds of leaves and different kinds of fruits and flowers. The tree was not supposed to be marked or mutilated by any beings who dwelt in the Sky World. It was a sacred tree that stood at the center of the universe.

The woman decided that she wanted some bark from one of the roots of the Great Tree- perhaps as food or as a medicine, we don’t know. She told her husband this. He did not like the idea. He knew it was wrong. But she insisted, and he gave in. So he dug a hole among roots of this great sky tree, and he bared some of its roots. But the floor of the Sky World wasn’t very thick, and he broke a hole though it. He was terrified, for he had never expected to find empty space underneath the world.

by Marcia Baldwin

by Marcia Baldwin

But his wife was filled with curiosity. He wouldn’t get any of the roots for her, so she set out to do it herself. She bent over and she looked down, and she saw the ocean far below. She leaned down and struck her head though the hole and looked all around. No one knows just what happened next. Some say she slipped. Some say that her husband, fed up with all the demands she had made on him, pushed her.

So she fell through the hole. As she fell, she frantically grabbed at its edges, but her hands slipped. However, between her fingers there clung bits of things that were growing on the floor of the Sky World and bits of the root tips of the Great Tree. And so she began to fall toward the great ocean far below.

The birds of the sea saw the woman falling, and they immediately consulted with each other as to what they could do to help her. Flying wingtip to wingtip, they made a great feathery raft in the sky to support her, and thus they broke her fall. But of course it was not possible for them to carry the woman very long. Some of the other birds of the sky flew down to the surface of the ocean and called up to the ocean creatures to see what they could do to help. The great sea turtle agreed to receive her on his back. The birds placed her gently on the shell of the turtle, and now the turtle floated about on the huge ocean with the woman safely on his back.

The beings in the Sky World paid no attention to this. They knew what was happening, but they chose to ignore it.

circles

When the woman recovered from her shock and terror, she looked around her. All that she could see were the birds and the sea creatures and the sky and the ocean.

And the woman said to herself that she would die. But the creatures of the sea came to her and said they would try to help her and asked her what they could do. She told them that if they could find some soil, she could plant the roots stuck between her fingers, and from them plants would grow. The sea animals said perhaps there was dirt at the bottom of the ocean, but no one had ever been down there so they could not be sure.

If there was dirt at the bottom of the ocean, it was far, far below the surface in the cold deeps. But the animals said they would try to get some. One by one the diving bird and animals tried and failed. They went to their limits of endurance, but they could not get to the bottom of the ocean. Finally, the muskrat said he would try. He dived and disappeared. all the creatures waited, holding their breath, but he did not return. After a long time, his little body floated to the surface of the ocean, a tiny crumb of earth clutched in his paw. He seemed to be dead. They pulled him up on the turtle’s back and they sang and prayed over him and breathed air into his mouth, and finally, he stirred. Thus it was the muskrat, Earth-Diver, who brought from the bottom of the ocean the soil from which the earth was to grow.

muskrat

The woman took the tiny clod of dirt and laced it in the middle of the great sea turtle’s back. Then the woman began to walk in a circle around it, moving in the direction that the sun goes. The earth began to grow. When the earth was big enough, she planted roots she had clutched between her fingers when she fell from the Sky World. Thus the plants grew on the earth.

To keep the earth growing, the woman walked as the sun goes, moving in the direction that the people still move in dance rituals. She gathered roots and plants to eat and built herself a little hut. After a while, the woman’s time came, and she was delivered a daughter. The woman and her daughter kept walking in a circle around the earth, so that the earth and plants would continue to grow. They lived on the plants and roots they gathered. The girl grew up with her mother, forever cut off from the Sky World above, knowing only the birds and the creatures of the sea, seeing no other beings like herself. One day, when the girl had grown to womanhood, a man appeared. No one knows for sure who this man was. He had something to do with the gods above. Perhaps he was the West Wind. As the girl looked at him, she was filled with terror, and amazement, and warmth, and she fainted dead away. As she lay on the ground, the man reached into his quiver, and he took out two arrows, one sharp and one blunt, and he laid them across the body of the girl, and quietly went away.

When the girl awoke from her faint, she and her mother continued to walk around the earth. After a while, they knew that the girl was to bear a child. They did not know it, but she was to bear twins.

Within the girl’s body, the twins began to argue and quarrel with one another. There could be no peace between them. As the time approached for them to be born, the twins fougt about their birth. The right-handed twin wanted to be born in the normal way, as all children are born. But the left-handed twin said no. He said he saw light in another direction, and said he would be born that way. The right-handed twin beseeched him not to, saying that he would kill their dear mother. But the left-handed twin was stubborn. He went in the direction where he saw the light. But he could not be born through his mother’s mouth or her nose. He was born through her armpit, and killed her. And meanwhile, the right-handed twin was born in the normal way, as all children are born.

pregnant

The twins met in the world outside, and the right-handed twin accused his brother of murdering their mother. But the grandmother told them to stop their quarrelling. They buried their mother. And from her grave grew the plants which the people still use. From her head grew the corn, the beans, and the squash “our supporters, the three sisters”. And from her heart grew the tobacco, which the people still use in ceremonies and by whose upward floating smoke they send thanks. The women call her “our mother”, and they dance and sing in the rituals so that the corn, the beans, the squash may grow to feed the people.

three-sisters-harvest

But the conflict of the twins did not end at the grave of their mother. And, strangely enough, the grandmother favored the left-handed twin.

The right-handed twin was angry, and he grew more angry as he thought how his brother had killed their mother. The right-handed twin was the one who did everything just as he should. He said what he meant, and he meant what he said. He always told the truth, and he always tried to accomplish what seemed to be right and reasonable. The left-handed twin never said what he meant or meant what he said. He always lied, and he always did everything backward. You could never tell what he was trying to do because he always made it look as if he were doing the opposite. He was the devious one.

These two brothers, as they grew up, represented two ways of the world which are in all the people. The Indians did not call these right and wrong. They called them the straight mind and the crooked mind, the upright man and the devious man, the right and the left.

The twins had creative powers. They took clay and modeled it into animals, and they gave these animals life. And in this they contended one another. The right-handed twin made the deer and the left-handed twin made the mountain lion which kills the deer. But the right-handed twin knew there were more deer than mountian lions. And he made more animals. He made the ground squirrel. The left-handed twin saw that the mountain lion could not get to the ground squirrel, who digs a hole so he made the weasel. And although the weasel can go straight into the ground squirrel’s hole and kill him, there are lots of ground squirrels and not so many weasels. Next the right-handed twin decided he would make an animal that the weasel could kill, so he made the porcupine. But the left-handed twin made the bear, who flips the porcupine over on his back and tears out his belly.

And the right-handed twin made berries and fruits of other kinds for his creatures to live on. The left-handed twin made briars and poison ivy, and the poisonous plants like baneberry and the dogberry, and the suicide root with which people kill themselves when they go out of their minds. And the left-handed twin made medicines, for good and evil, for doctoring and for witchcraft.

And finally, the right-handed twin made man. The people do not know just how much the left-handed twin had to do with making man. Man was made of clay, like pottery, and baked in the fire…

The world the twins made was a balanced and orderly world, and this was good. The plant-eating animals created by the right-handed twin would eat up all the vegetation if their number was not kept down by the meat-eating animals which the left-handed twin created. But if these carnivorous animals ate too many other animals, then they would starve, for they would run out of meat. So the right-handed and the left-handed twins built balance into the world.

As the twins became full-grown men, they still contested with one another. No one had won, and no one had lost. And they knew the conflict was becoming sharper and sharper and one of them would have to vanquish the other.

And so they came to the duel. They started with gambling. They took a wooden bowl, and in it they put wild plum pits. One side of the pits was burned black, and by tossing the pits in the bowl, and betting on how these would fall, they gambled against one another, as the people still do in the New Year’s rites. All through the morning they gambled at this game, and all through the afternoon, and the sun went down. And when the sun went down, the game was done, and neither one had own.

So they went onto battle one another at lacrosse game. And they contested all day, and the sun went down, and the game was done. And neither had won.

And now they battled with clubs, and they fought all day, and the sun went down, and the fight was done. But neither had won.

And they went from one duel to another to see which one would succumb. Each one knew in his deepest mind that there was something, somewhere, that would vanquish the other. But what was it? Where to find it?

twins

Each knew somewhere in his mind what it was that was his own weak point. They talked about this as they contested in these duels, day after day, and somehow the deep mind of each entered into the other. And the deep mind of the right-handed twin lied to his brother, and the deep mind of the left-handed twin told the truth.
On the last day of the dual, as they stood, they at last knew how the right-handed twin was to kill his brother. Each selected his weapon. The left-handed twin chose a mere stick that would do him no good. But the right-handed twin picked out a deer antler, and with one touch he destroyed his brother. And the left-handed twin died, but he died and he didn’t die. The right-handed twin picked up his body and cast it off the edge of the earth. And some place below the world, in the land of the eternal abyss, the left-handed twin remained for some time.

Having killed his brother, the right-handed twin returned to his grandmother. And she met him in anger. She threw food out of the cabin onto the ground, and she said theat he was a murderer, for he had killed his brother. He grew angry, and told her she had always helped his brother, who had killed their mother. In anger, he grabbed her by the throat and cut her head off. Her body he threw into the ocean, and her head into the sky. There “Our Grandmother, the Moon” still keeps watch at night over the realm of her favourite grandson.

The right-handed twin has many names. One of them is Sapling. It means smooth, young, green, fresh and innocent, straightforward, straight-growing, soft and pliable, teachable and trainable. These are the ways of describing him.

Our young Sapling was quite sorry at the state of affairs and he wept. He wept so long and so hard that his tears began to flood the earth and all the wonderful creatures, animals and fruits that his grandmother, his mother, his twin brother and himself had brought to creative fruition. The West Wind saw this from the Sky World and took pity on him, his son.

In the world up above, it was a very special time, a sacred time that can only be counted every 5,125 turns of the earth around the sun. And when this time occurred, the Tree of Life bore an ambrosia fruit that everyone in the Sky World craved, therefore, it was permitted during these holy periods to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. The merrymaking and general mayhem of creative power during these heightened occasions is what creates new worlds, new life forms and eternal galaxies. Thus the West Wind ate of the fruit, and created the portal that opened from the Sky World to the Earth below and he blew into the portal such a forceful breath that a spinning rainbow vortex swirled from one world to the other and picked up the right-handed twin and lifted him right up into the Sky World.

portal 21

The right-handed twin was in shock, confusion and a coma-like state for many days until the smoke of the tobacco reached him from the humans who were grieving his abscence. And then he wept again to realize his Fate. Although he was quite happy to be back in the Land of All Origins, he was worried and fretful about his greatest creation, the humans. He knew that without his guidance and protection they could easily be lost to the folly of his left-handed twins’ ways. So he beseeched the Sky Walkers to allow him to send the humans on the Earth below some helping aid.

The right-handed twin, who became known as He Who Holds up the Skies, Master of Life, and Great Creator, ate of the fruit of the Tree of Life and spit the seeds down to the Earth so that in this way the earth dwellers could also come to know of this sacred tree and its magical creative powers. Everywhere these seeds landed were considered power places which offered higher vibrations akin to the Sky World and those sensitive to the energies could receive guidance and knowledge from dwelling in such spaces.

The Master of Life, our right-handed twin, also sang a song which travelled from his world to the Earth by way of the West Wind and those who had ears to hear this melody became the shamans, the healers, the medicine men and women who through their own power songs could open up the portals between the worlds ensuring otherworld communication.

The West Wind reminded the right-handed twin: as above, so below. Thus when the West Wind opened the portal from the Sky World to the earth so was a portal opened from the Earth to the Underworld so that the left-handed twin could travel from the abyss to his long awaited home as well. He lives in a place that knows the world of men well, and he finds contentment in it. He hears the sound of warfare, torture and injustices and he finds them good.

The left-handed twin also has many names. One of them is Flint. He is called the devious one, the one covered in boils. Old Warty. He is stubborn. He is thought of as being dark in color. His realm is the night, the shadow-lands, despair and the full moon of his grandmother.

left handed

The Tree of Life is in full bloom with her ambrosia fruit. It is a 5,125 year moment. The shamans are singing. The portals are open. You may ascend or you may descend depending on your chosen path.

Our world, the Earth swings back and forth from one twins’ stronghold to the next… but always, always a balance is found… and in all ways, it is in good order. The shadow may not live without the light. The right may not exist with the left. The healthy, straight mind cannot manuever without the crooked minds plots. And in each of us, the other lives. So it was. So it is. Forever and ever. In the spiral of life, all is well on the Tree of Life. The END xo

yinyang

-Navajo 10-10-13

(ADVICE: Digest your journey, no matter where you may find yourself, as the universe makes no mistakes!)

The Spiral Dance of Beltane

I was on the table with my favourite energy healer…it was early February when she said, “It’s so strange, all I feel flowing in your energetic field is Spring, but it’s too early,and stranger yet, all I hear is Beltane. Are you familiar with the Celtic holiday of Beltane?” she whispered in a joyful tone.

Haha, that comment brought a large chuckle out of me as I truly consider myself a Royal Beltane Queen. I went on to tell my practitioner about my sordid affair with my beloved Beltane. Years prior, I had written a Beltane story, that came to vivid life and went on to basically sever my marriage (at least in the present moment), as well, rock the mass consciousness of my coral sand community. I seem to be a specialist at rocking the boat! Her reply, “Who doesn’t like Beltane?”

My energy doctor, at that point in time, having had the privilege of working on my husband, had a larger than life “ah-ha moment”. She proclaimed that my “work” on Earth was to reinstall the Beltane codes, to bring back to life the pagan holiday long ago banned by King Arthur. Now that was truly funny, as deep down, I knew that Beltane was a large part of my work as a lightworker, and I am proud to say that I accomplished this very difficult mission. She agreed, she promised me, by this Beltane, May 2012, it would all make sense and my rewards would be forthcoming. She went on to proclaim that my husband was actually King Arthur, reincarnated.

And so without further ado… let us take a journey into the past to revisit a time when the seasons were becoming imbalanced, when the Earth holidays were still being honoured by the people, when they celebrated their Gods and Goddesses with creative, wild abandon, a time when the Old Religions were experiencing increasing pressure to cease and desist their sacred traditions.

England was at war intertibally, as well as with the Romans when King Arthur came to his throne. His royal advisor, Merlin, counselled him that the only way to unite England was to gain favour of the Pagaen folk whose religion was being driven out of existence by the pervading Christian thoughts of the Roman conquerors. Merlin was a Druid who honoured the Old Religion. The Pagaens were demanding that King Arthur honour the Beltane fertility holiday by playing the main male part of King Stag. King Arthur agreed to do so, hence making a promise to the people that he would always allow their form of worship.

King Stag is a ceremonial masked figure of high rank who welcomes in the energies of Pan, an Earth fertility God, while frolicking with the tribes chosen female counterpart, also a female of high rank in society. Unfortunately for King Arthur, the tribes choose his half-sister Morgaine, a priestess of the Old Ways, that year to represent the Divine Feminine, a fact King Arthur did not become aware of until the morning after the debauchery of the Beltane celebrations…only after a wild, lascivious evening of lustmaking and a returned sobriety did King Arthur come to understand the enormity of his actions. Mortified by the tribes choice, King Arthur grew to have a deep disdain and regret for Beltane. This remorse was increasingly amplified by his wife Gwendolyn, and her extremely pious, Christian morals. Eventually King Arthur, under undue duress and pressure succumbed to his wife’s demands and outlawed Beltane, going back on his promise to the pagan tribes, therefore cementing Britain’s path as a Christian nation.

Interestingly enough, and, as the Fates would have it, Gwendolyn fell in love with King Arthur’s favourite knight, Lancelot, who also shared Gwendolyn’s affections. (Funny thing, attempt to ban a sacred energy to the far recesses of ones mind and it will only rear its feiry head up larger than life.) This sordid love affair was witnessed by all King Arthur’s loyal & trustworthy men, by all of the members of the royal court & household and the affair was exagerrated, through rumour, far and wide, in the kingdom and lands known as Great Britain.

King Arthur had one brave knight who dared to speak the truth of this matter to him. That knights name was Mordred and he was the Beltane child of King Arthur and Morgaine. Mordred and King Arthur fought over this unspeakable revelation. King Arthur’s acceptance of this twisted love affair spoke volumes about Christian hypocrisy and it was this very situation that tore his kingdom apart. King Arthur killed Mordred as Modred fatally wounded King Arthur… father and son killed one another. The knights scattered. Gwendolyn retreated to a nunnery. Lancelot was never seen again in the Kingdom. And Beltane remained an outlawed celebration, a mere memory in our minds. Pan, now, is called the Devil.

The old codes, the sacred holidays, the turning of the processions, the Earth’s powerful seasons, the Medicine Wheel: nothing natural can be ignored, nothing powerful can be buried, nothing sacred can be banned. We are all here to honor one another’s diversity, to celebrate each others differences and to bow down to the power of the unknown. We need Beltane, as the earth needs the sun, for our very Spirit cries out for the renewal of Summers’ jubilation” (Christina Aubin).

Ostara, Spring Equinox,
Beltane, May Day,
Litha, Summer Solstice,
Lughnasadh, Early August,
Mabon, Autumn Equinox,
Samhain, Halloween,
Yule, Winter Solstice,
Imbolc, Early February

All exists in an unbroken spiral… forever and ever, demanding our attention, our worship and our celebration to the one omnipotent Mother, our Earth! Get out your masks, light a fire, ignite your passion, allow your body to lead the way, after all, we are deep into Spring and Pan is in the house, as he ought to be!

I was born to the boom boom of a Caribbean parade… I am guessing that has instilled an inate need to celebrate at a crazy party!
Navajo

The Animals Speak of the Need for Accelerated Change

Chief Dan George, Salish,
British Columbia, 1899-1981
“There is a longing among all people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other. In the olden times man and creature walked as friends who carried the beauty of the land in their hearts. Now each one of us is needed to make sure the salmon can find a place to spawn and the bear cub a tree to climb. There is little time left and much effort is needed!”

“The Animals Speak” is a wonderful book by Ted Andrews which offers an in-depth analysis, as well magical and spiritual meanings to many of our worlds animals, birds and reptiles. In the indigenous world, every animal carries a medicine and a message. It is always crucial to pay attention to the animals that cross ones path and their particular significance in one’s life.

Presently, on a global scale, the animals seem to be screaming a few messages at us… Pay attention now to
the whales beaching and dying,
the dolphins aborting,
the millions of jellyfish and hundreds of tons of fish washing ashore dead,
to the bats dying,
or the bumblebee colonies collapsing,
to the birds, birds, and more birds found dead,
or the cattle, buffalo, and other livestock mysteriously dying off,
the bald eagles gathering in mass only to drop from the sky from starvation;
all over the planet there are new animal death stories everyday.

It’s sobering, sad, worrisome and disconcerting. Even the average Joe must ask himself, “what in the world is going on?” I have learned to breathe more deeply, to enjoy the moment more fully, and to have gratitude more often as I say farewell to these magnificent creatures who have graced our lives with their presence. It is becoming painfully clear that we are indeed an intricate eco-system, interdependent on one another and at a loss when large numbers of any species exits the planet unexplainably.

Somewhere in my bedroom right now is a very stinky, rotting and dead lizard. I cannot find where he has chosen to rest his carcass, I can only smell him. It’s truly obnoxious. Lizard can be symbolic of our unconscious dream state. A dead one is telling me to PAY ATTENTION. Dead lizards portend fears and sometimes foreshadowing of dangers ahead. Clearly, I have interpreted this animal’s death as a warning… I make my living on food and luxury services in a tourism industry…where will this industry be in a year from now as food prices continue to sky-rocket and fuel becomes unaffordable? Dead lizard tells me to prepare for a new timeline.

In one day from now, we will all be thrown into hyperspace speed acceleration as the Mayan Calendar enters its last phase of a very long and complex counting system. What we are witnessing is an overtaxed eco-system that has probably reached tipping point. We can soothe are minds by saying that the fish and bird deaths are due to the changing magnetic fields, but how do you explain all the other animal deaths? I take solace in the fact that these events were prophesied and are part of the web of creation back to wholeness, health and planetary balance.

Our world is severely out of balance, has been severely out of balance for quite a while. All of our systems, be it financial, educational, political, religious, health, military, energy, marital and most obviously, environmental are straining under the stressful conditions of an imminent collapse. The animals are merely screaming their message loud and clear: the end of this unbalanced living is near. What is beautiful about every death is the rebirth that follows. Ted Andrews says, “there is no life without death, and there is no death without rebirth. Death always has a loss and a gain balance. All life is sacred and all life is essential to other life.”

So let us look at the meaning these animals carry…
whale: brings us creation, the power of song, & awakening to inner depths,
dolphin: the power & healing of breath and sound,
jellyfish/fish: represent the health of our worlds’ waters,
bats: speaks of transition and initiation,
bumblebees: fertility and the honey of life,
birds: flight, freedom, lightness of spirit and upliftment,
buffalo: manifesting abundance through right action & prayer, and
eagle: illumination of spirit, healing and all creation.
(My list is a reduced version of the hordes of animals deaths!)

Now imagine these animal powers listed above in their death throes. Isn’t it obvious that our world is about to transition? Whale brings us the memory, the history, the records we need to remember…Dolphin brings us the sound and the breath to move through these times, fish calls our attention to the healing of the waters, bat tells us that shamanistic death is at hand, bees warn us that life cannot be sustained without them, buffalo enlists us to correct prayer, and eagle, sweet eagle is starving… he tells us our spirits our bankrupt and so our world is reflecting this state of being, he invites us to live in responsible relationship. Karmically, eagle says that events will fly faster now, repercussions will be realized quicker, and all you do or say- positive or negative- will come home to roost in stronger ways. The animals are speaking, the animals are always speaking, are we listening yet?

On the last phase of the Mayan Calendar which is only 260 days, the gestation period of the birth of our Mother, one must tread softly, cautiously and with much awareness, as Eagle is telling us, all of our actions do carry much weight! Kindly remember “All are part of an ecosystem. All are necessary for every other aspect. Everything that occurs in nature repurcusses upon us. Everything that happens to us, repurcusses upon nature. Though we may like to remain seperate, we are not. We may not recognize the repurcussions, but they are real, nonetheless, and She (Mother Nature) would honor that.” Ted Andrews

In all five of my births, I was excited and thrilled to be bringing a new life to the planet. In all five of my births, when the time came to labor, I was scared.
I am thrilled and excited now, I am also scared. The wave of energy on the planet is engulfing me, the forces of nature are taking over, this birth is about to happen. Who, I ask is immune to this feeling? I take a deep breath and I call upon my favorite totem, Dragonfly, to protect the rainbow warriors and keep us always and forever in the power of the light!

In Love,
Navajo