Speak the Truth, Keep Your Word, Third Law of the Red Man (story suitable for 10yrs to adult)

This story is told in the modern idiom by an ancient  guide named ‘Calling Horse’ who came to me in meditation to explain in story the codes of conduct of his tribe.

Law Number 3: HOLD THY WORD OF HONOUR SACRED (Speak the truth, mean what you say, keep your word)

In our tribe as in all tribes we paid a lot of attention to the laws of the Great Spirit, but there were always those who would deviate from time to time. Children were carefully taught the laws, so that they knew how to conduct themselves in society and with regard to their personal development and their integrity.

Walking Cloud dreams of becoming a great hunter

In my family my mother used to tell us stories to illustrate the laws of the Great Spirit. She said she learnt them from her grandfather and said he had got them from a bear! That always puzzled me as a child because I had never heard a bear speak. However, the story about honesty included the bear and could well have come from him if he had been a talking bear!

There was once a young man called Walking Cloud. He had aspirations to become a great hunter, however other tasks always seemed to get in the way of his hunting. There were skins to clean, teepees to make, firewood to chop, fires to set up and so on. He would far rather have spent his time on the plains hunting the wild animals, than being tied up with all this domestic work. One day his mother asked him to clean off a bear skin which his brother had provided. Walking Cloud grudgingly set to work, His tools were not sharp enough and the day was calling him. After half an hour he realised that his mother was occupied and would not be returning to the camp until sunset.

This was the opportunity he had been waiting for. He downed tools and he was away. He moved quickly, flitting between the tents like a shadow, unseen. He disappeared into a thicket at the edge of camp, his bow and arrows at the ready.

Walking Cloud leaves his work to go hunting

Walking Cloud leaves his work to go hunting

After an hour or two he noticed the fresh traces of a small deer. His heart began to beat faster. Would he soon find it and bring it home to his family? Smelling the air he thought he could sense the direction in which the deer was moving. He followed his senses and his instincts. Suddenly there it was. It looked at him and froze. It seemed to know that its day had come. Quickly he loaded his bow and shot the little creature in the chest. With a last leap it died and fell to the ground. It was quite easy for Walking Cloud to carry the little animal. He raised it to his shoulders and set off for home. He began to wonder how he was going to explain yet another carcass to his mother. There was the strict understanding that you should not kill any more than you could use and his family was certainly not in need of any more meat at that moment. He wondered how much of the bear skin he could clean off if he returned and could not think what he would do with the deer carcass. It would be wrong to waste it; that he would not do.

On approaching the camp he passed a group of teepees belonging to a family whose father was sick. He decided he would leave the deer with them. Gratefully they accepted. Back in his own part of the camp there lay the bear skin and the blunt tools. He sighed and picked up his work. His mind was not on it as he scraped away at the remains of the fat clinging to the hide. Shortly afterwards his mother returned.

“Oh, Walking Cloud, I see you have been struggling with your work! Surely we named you well for you have been walking in the clouds again today, by the look of it, or did you go out hunting in my absence?”

“This tool is too blunt, Mother. How can I clean the skin with such a tool as this?”
“Tools do not sharpen themselves, my son. Don’t tell me you have been struggling with the knife all day in that state, rather than go and sharpen it on a stone? Is my son idle as well as dreamy? How will you ever look after a family of your own if you cannot get on with a simple task like this?’
Idle! Dreamy! This was too much for Walking Cloud!

“No, Mother, I am not idle nor dreamy, but when I have a family, I will go hunting for two families and the head of the other family will be able to stay at home he can do my domestic work.”

“So, you have been out hunting today, my son. But why? We do not need any more food, we have already shared meat with two of our neighbours.

“Yes, Mother. The call of the forest was so strong upon me, I went hunting and I caught a beautiful deer which I gave to the family of Fire Star. I am sorry.”

“Well, well, I know your inclinations only too well, my son. I know you are not lazy or idle, but you do dream of the forests and the plains when you are engaged on other work. At least you were able to help someone less fortunate than yourself today. I hope you find this other family who like to stay at home while you go out and hunt! But each man should be independent, if possible, you know.”

Walking Cloud stood up. “I am sorry , Mother,for not finishing the bear skin. I did not promise to do it however. If I had promised, I would have had it finished by now. I know I am reluctant to do all these jobs, I suppose most young men are. If you want to be sure of getting something done, you will have to get me to promise to do it, then as certain as there are more than a thousand stars in the sky, I will do it.”

His mother gave him a wry smile. “Ah, my son, so I have to tie you down to your work with honourable words now, do I? Well, well, if that’s what you think is necessary, so be it,” and she shook her head and took up the blunt knife.

“Well, let’s start as we mean to continue. Promise me you will sharpen this before you spend any more time on friend bear here!”

Spiritual Laws of the Red Man (Second Law- No Idolatry) suitable for children from 10 yrs to adult

This story is told in the modern idiom by an ancient  guide named ‘Calling Horse’ who came to me in meditation to explain in story the codes of conduct of his tribe. Twelve laws will be illustrated with stories and pictures by artist Alan Nisbet ( Law Number One will appear later.)



The Carved Eagle Idol

It is can be tempting for those who believe in a god to want to make an idol of that god in order to focus their prayers on the idol. The problem then arises that simple people begin to think that the idol itself is a god. You have the example of the golden calf in the Bible. We too have a similar example in our history.

Once upon a time there was a tribe who decided that although the rules said they should not create an idol, they would do, because after all, it was only going to be a representation of their God. They all knew it was not the real thing and they all agreed that they wanted to gather round something and not to focus on the chief. They knew their chief was not God and some of the elders envied him his god-like position during the ceremonies.

Because he was a weak chief and there were many powerful advisors, he bowed to their desires and agreed that they could make an idol. They set to work. The craftsmen in the village who were good at carving decided to make the eagle. This would be their symbol for the Great Spirit. They carved a large and beautiful bird, its wings outstretched. They mounted it on a tall pole and in the pole they embedded many beautiful gems. It was a very impressive object.

This would be their symbol for the Great Spirit

This would be their symbol for the Great Spirit

They were all very happy to gather round it and to pray to it. The chief was happy too as it seemed to take some of the pressure off him. All eyes would be focused on the eagle and not on himself. This suited him admirably. For several years this tribe continued to pray to their eagle, and some of them began to forget that it was not actually God. They began to believe that it was God, the Great Spirit Himself. They started to bring offerings to leave at the base of the pole and when the next day the offerings had disappeared.

“See, the Great Spirit has taken our offerings!” they said.

They treated their eagle with the greatest reverence. When they moved camp it was held high and went on before them, blazing a trail, as they saw it. Their antics were observed by an adjacent tribe who saw that they were violating God’s laws. It was decided to show these people the folly of their behavior. After the tribe had settled into their new camp they had a visit from the adjacent chief. He came to parley with their chief. When he pointed to the eagle and asked about it, several members of the party proudly answered that it was their God. “You cannot be serious!” said the visiting chief. “We do not have idols of the Great Spirit!”

“Well, most people don’t, but we do.”

“What would you do without it?” asked the visitor.

“We will never be without it,” they replied.

“Somebody might steal it,” suggested the visiting chief.

“We wouldn’t allow that to happen,” they said.

“Well, we would like to borrow it,” announced the visitor. “And if you don’t let us have it, we will take two of the chiefs’ daughters instead.”

The tribe were outraged and terrified. What would they do without their god? But how could the chief give up his daughters? They were betrothed to two of the sons of the elders who had persuaded him to make the idol. They had to consider this seriously. They had a meeting. The elders whose sons were betrothed were the first to see reason. “As we know, this is not really the Great Spirit, but merely an idol which we made ourselves. We cannot lose anything at all if we give it to them for a while. On the other hand we do not wish to lose our daughters for ever, for certainly they would become pregnant very soon if they left us and we could not accept them back into the tribe.”

“But if we give our God away, our luck will desert us for certain,” said another voice, “We have to give the daughters away.” So went the argument and it became very heated. It was decided to call on the opinion of the people. Those who wanted to give the ‘God’ away should stand on one side and those who wanted to part with the girls instead, should stand on the other. A very small crowd of people wanted to keep the girls. It consisted of the chief, the two elders and their sons who were betrothed to the girls. They were the very same elders who had persuaded the chief to allow the creation of the ‘god’ in the first place. A large crowd gathered round the ‘god’, wanting to keep it. The majority decision had to be followed. The girls were given away. The next night there was a terrible storm and the eagle was struck by lightning. It was split in two and burnt beyond recognition. The girls never returned. The old chief died of a broken heart. A wiser man replaced him and vowed never to build an effigy of God, never ever again.

Idolatry has been very popular in early times, but my story illustrates the drawbacks of the idolaters belief system. It was replaced quite early on by this law, given to the Red Man, that no likeness of God should be made. This was much more empowering to people as they realised that God was all around them, and not limited to one perishable or stealable idol.

Recovering from parental divorce (understanding childhood feelings)

Paul is still affected by his parents divorce when he was 8.  He asked for help.

When I meditated for Paul I was taken to a place filled with depressed souls.  Their stories would not have helped anyone.  However they were surrounded by angels walking amongst them, comforting and teaching them.  One of these angels steps up.  He is asking me to write for Paul.

“Paul was a very sensitive child.  He loved his mother and his father. He needed them both and depended on both of them for his sense of self.  He was very young when his parents separated.  He very much missed the daily cheerful presence of his father.  It was as if a light had been taken away from him.  The bright energy of his father was no longer continuously available for him to draw upon.  He was not completely deprived of his father, in fact he had regular contact, but his young soul needed and wanted that frequent and constant reassurance that everything would be all right and that he himself was OK.

Paul’s mother struggled to keep her small family going and she herself was depressed.  This made time spent without his father uninspiring and unrewarding.  He could only think about the next time he would be seeing his dad.  He found it hard to focus on the present moment.  This situation led to a habit of behaviour and a pattern of thinking that has stayed with Paul, even though he is now an adult.  He tends not to live in the moment, he is not enjoying his life for what it is.  He keeps looking ahead trying to anticipate ‘great days’ in the future, or he looks back and remembers the feelings of emptiness when he was not with his father.

Paul needs to learn to focus on what he is doing today now.  Is he communicating with the people around him?  Is he appreciating them?  Is he even noticing them?  He needs to notice the beauty of the world around him every day, maybe in a flower, the colour of the sky, a childs laughter.

As he gradually learns to appreciate each day, living fully in the NOW, bringing himself into the present, when he finds himself drifting back into the past, or off into the future, he will start to feel more fulfilled.

Paul also needs to start to notice how other people are thinking and feeling, and to notice what motivates his nearest and dearest.  More personal interaction is needed, less introspection is required.

That was what came to me, and it reminded me of a quote I have heard which goes something like

The past is history, the future is a mystery, we can only live in the present, and that’s what it is, a gift from the Universe, enjoy it!

Princess Mary Anne and the Shoes (for 4-8year olds, learning what shoes are good for you to wear)

Princess Mary Anne and the Shoes

Once upon a time there was a princess. Her name was Mary Anne. She was a pretty girl and she loved dresses and she loved shoes

Sometimes she used to dream about shoes

She used to imagine she had enough shoes to put a pair on every stair from the top of the grand staircase, all the way down to the bottom.

The trouble was that although she loved her shoes most of them were rather uncomfortable and she could only wear them for a few minutes before her feet began to hurt. Then she would take them off and put another pair on instead.

She used to leave her shoes all over the castle and her father, the King, used to get cross as he was always tripping over them. Her mother, the Queen, gave her a special laundry basket to keep them in as she had so many.

The Queen, or the King, would scoop them all up and drop them in the laundry basket. But Princess Mary Anne loved looking at her shoes so much that gradually one by one they would all come out again as the princess lovingly tried them on. First they would fill her royal bedroom floor, then they would start to go downstairs – on her feet of course, although she sometimes dreamt at night that they would all be dancing on the grand hall floor, bowing, curtseying and leaping about.

The princess was always on the lookout for the prettiest pair of shoes that she could find. She wasn’t too sure about how to know if they would be comfortable. She just wanted ‘Pretty Shoes’ . So she bought the pink shoes and brought them home.

“No good, they keep falling off.”

And the blue shoes. “ No good they pinch my toes.”

And the sparkly silver shoes. “No good, they rub my heels.”

And the pretty furry boots. “No good, they’re too hot to wear.”

And the amazing cloppity clogs. “No good, they don’t stay on.”

And the flip flops. “Only good for flippin’ and floppin’ and they make my feet tired, and I can’t go far in them.”

And the ‘between the toes pretty blue and pink shoes. “No good, they hurt my toes….”

What? But didn’t the Royal Nana buy those for her? Yes, she did. Even the Royal Nana got the wrong shoes. The Royal Nana had forgotten what little princesses’ feet need. She was embarrassed.

The Royal Nana was embarrassed

The Royal Nana was embarrassed

So the little princess lined all her shoes up on the stairs, all the way to her bedroom and she told her Mama, the Queen, and her Papa, the king, exactly what she needed.

The grand staircase

The grand staircase

“Not like these,” she said, “they keep falling off.”

“Not like these, they pinch my toes.”

“Not like these, they’re too heavy.”

“Not like these, I can’t run and jump in them.”

“Not like these, the press between my big toes.”

“Not like these, the bottoms press up on my little toes.”

“Ah,” said His Majesty, the King.

“Ah,” said Her Majesty, the Queen. “ We know what you need. You need some ever so comfy, holding on to your feet, not slippy sloppy, no rubbing toes, no blistering heels, not too heavy, wear indoors and out, Clarks shoes!”

“Yes!” said the little princess.

“But what if they don’t have glitter?” asked the Royal Nana.

“Or bows,

Or sequins,

Or kitten heels,

Or shiny leather,

Or fur linings,

Or strappy heels?”

“No, I don’t want those kinds of shoes any more. They hurt my feet. I want Clark’s shoes, and that’s that.”

And the little princess got some Clark’s shoes for her birthday and she was so pleased, she felt very grown up in them. She still used to play with her other shoes of course, but at least she knew she had some really comfy shoes that wouldn’t damage her growing feet. And she wore them lots.