The sacral energy centre, a story to illustrate…

Rainbow Dancer Finds Her Man

There was a young girl in my tribe, she was known as Rainbow Dancer.  A beautiful girl, popular with everyone, several young braves hoped that she would choose one of them.

She always wore the finest leathers. She plaited her hair so neatly and tightly and interwove it with ribbons of cloth that she had dyed different colours.  Rainbow Dancer was waiting.  She knew she must wait for the right man, as none of the young men in the tribe appealed to her.  Her mother had told her that when the right man came she would feel it in her belly.  She did not understand her mother’s words, but she was happy to believe her.

At tribal gatherings when the dances were in full swing, Rainbow Dancer was aloof.  Unlike her name suggested, she never wished to dance.  As a young child she had danced a lot, but somehow it had lost its appeal to her.  Perhaps because when she showed that she was willing to dance she had the problem of dealing with all the young braves who wished to be chosen by her.  She had decided it was easier not to bother.

Several years went by.  All of the girls of a similar age found husbands amongst the tribe, but Rainbow Dancer was adamant.  She felt nothing in her heart and nothing in her belly.

One day two young men stumbled into the camp.  One of them was wounded.  He had been trampled by buffalo in a stampede.  Somehow they had lost their way and their companions had gone on, not realising that Standing Tree was wounded.  Rainbow Dancer’s mother was first to see the young man.  She dressed his wounds and made him a comfortable place to rest in a tepee adjacent to her own.

Rainbow Dancer helped her mother to look after the young man.  He was in a lot of pain and developed a raging fever.  It took a lot of skilled use of herbs and patient watching and waiting before Standing Tree was able to speak.  Every movement was painful to him.  Rainbow Dancer mopped his brow and dabbed his wounds with the herbal medicine.

After four days the young man came out of his delirium.  He turned towards Rainbow Dancer who had hardly left his side.  He smiled the most beautiful smile and whispered “Thank you.”

Rainbow Dancer felt her heart lurch.  She knew that the thing she most wanted in the world was for Standing Tree to recover.

Gradually he became strong again.  Rainbow Dancer helped him to walk around the camp to get used to using his limbs again.  She noticed that when she touched him she could feel a current of energy flow through her body.  She began to feel warmth in her heart, and just as her mother had told her, she felt the stirring of excitement in her belly.  This was the man for her, her body told her so.  Standing Tree felt the same way.  When he had completely recovered he told Rainbow Dancer that he must return to his tribe, but that he would come back for her very soon, which he did.

A love token

A love token

He brought with him a token of his love for her and asked her father if he could take her to join his own tribe.  Rainbow dancer’s father agreed and the couple had a happy life together.

A story about the solar plexus centre ( Native American Indian)


The solar plexus is below the ribs and above the naval.  It is the main energy distributor in the body, it helps in the thinking processes (gut feelings) and it connects us to others.

White Owl and the Bear

In times when men and women lived in teepees on the plains and in the forests of North America, there was a young warrior, we shall call him White Owl. He was a brave young man, never afraid to get others out of trouble, whether he had to fight off adversaries or wild animals. One day this young man and his friend Grey Wolf were deep in the forest. They were hunting for the wild bears who roamed freely in those days. These are very fierce animals. They were required for their coats for the winter bedding especially for young children. Winters were very cold indeed and the animals had to be sacrificed to keep us humans alive.

On this occasion Grey wolf was climbing a tree having disturbed a bear, thinking that the bear would not dare to climb as high as he could. He hoped the bear would use his solar centre –  his mind centre, and realise that he would not be safe on the fine, high branches. However the bear continued up and up and Grey wolf began to think that he would soon run out of tree!

The bear looked down and saw White Owl

The bear looked down and saw White Owl

Now White Owl his friend saw the dilemma and decided to act as a decoy for Grey Wolf.  He shouted and threw sticks at the bear who looked down and saw a second adversary at the base of the tree.  The bear had been starting to get a gut feeling that it was about time to turn round and go down again.  Now he had even more reason to do exactly that.  With a huge bellowing roar he reversed down the tree.  This was a slightly slower process than climbing up. White Owl looked at his weapons, he had a tomahawk and a bow and arrows. He and Grey Wolf had spent many a long evening practising their tomahawk throwing by the light of the moon, and he was very accurate. He decided to risk throwing the small axe, which is what it was, planning the throw to coincide with a difficult part of the descent of the bear. He did not have time to think of any other solutions. That he would leave to the Great Spirit.
The tomahawk made a direct hit, straight through the skull of the enraged bear which fell like a stone to the base of the tree trunk. Grey Wolf descended carefully, trembling somewhat and surveyed the dead animal. He clutched his belly and said:

“Well, I think one bear is quite enough for one day, don’t you? Probably enough for one year for me. It’s going to take me a while to recover from this!”

The young men skinned the bear on the spot, leaving the carcass for the wild beasts which would surely find it. They carried the skin home to their families, proudly presenting it to be shared by their mothers for the youngest children in each family. They had been happy to risk their lives in this way for those with whom they had close ties, another solar plexus connection.

For a fuller description of the functions of the solar plexus energy centre you will find more information online.

Grey Wolf is Given a Bride – A story to illustrate the ‘third eye’, for age 12 to adult

I have written a series of stories which illustrate the uses of the seven main energy centres of the body. The subject of this story is the Brow centre or Third Eye. The stories have come to me from Calling Horse, a Spirit Guide.

Grey Wolf is Given a Bride

Many years ago when my people were settled on the plains, during a quiet period when there was peace between all the tribes and it was a land of plenty, there was a wise old chief. You may not believe this but his name was Chief Thunderbird! He had the name before your people got hold of it!

Now Chief Thunderbird was a very astute old man. Whenever he wanted someone to do something for him or for the tribe, he would somehow make that person feel as if it was his own idea in the first place. He would arrange his request in such a way that the person would find themselves suggesting what he, the chief wanted, as an answer to a problem.
However after many years of doing this, people got wise to the wiley old man, not that anything he ever asked for was out of order, or in any way harmful to the giver or to the tribe. It was just that people began to resist this manipulation, almost like a game.

On one occasion he asked a young brave, Grey Wolf by name, if he would take care of a certain family whose father had been killed in a hunting expedition. Now Grey Wolf, although he saw the need for a protector for this young family, was not so sure if he wanted to become a substitute father so early on in his life. Although he had no particular young lady to whom he was attached, he had given no thought to the young widow in the past, naturally as she was already spoken for. However the chief could see that it would be an ideal match and wanted Grey Wolf to see this too.

Chief Thunderbird prayed to the Great Spirit to give Grey Wolf a vision which would convince him that Morning Star would be a good wife for him and that he could care for the two little boys like a good father. The next evening as Grey Wolf was sitting by the camp fire after the others had retired to sleep, as he stared into the flames, he saw a picture of himself with his arm around Morning Star and the two little boys sitting one on each of his knees. It was a very happy scene. Above the little family he saw the Great Spirit radiating light over the group.

Grey Wolf sat until the vision faded and then walked over to the teepee where Thunderbird’s family was based. He asked to see the old man and told him of his vision, and said he would be very honoured to take on the young family. The next day there was much celebrating. Grey wolf took the little boys swimming in the lake and Morning Star watched confidently, knowing that now all would be well again, both for her children and for herself.

Grey Wolf has a vision

Grey Wolf has a vision

It is through the third eye which is situated in the centre of the forehead that we can receive visions.  This ability has been lost or ignored by most people in modern times but it was very important to many ancient peoples.  It can be activated by meditation in appropriate circumstances and indeed many people today are learning to use this natural human ability.

The Crown Centre. A story to illustrate the use of the energy centre at the top of the head.

This story came to me when I was asking in meditation for stories to show an understanding of human energy centres by Native American Indians.  The spirit guide Calling Horse gave me this story.


When my people became restless the chief would be sensitive to their feelings and desires for a move, but he would always try to move camp at a propitious time. If we were careless about it, we might find that another tribe was occupying the area which we had planned to go to. We might find that food was scarce in the new place. We might encounter disease and pestilence. A move had to be carefully planned and the Great Spirit played a full part in this.

The chief would go into retreat for two days. During this time he would meditate. He also required the elders to do the same. They would also fast so that they would be more ‘clear-seeing’. Some of them would use the fire as their oracle, seeing pictures in it which told them what they needed to know. Others would meditate on the clouds and others would make contact with the tree spirits. One elder I knew would collect beautiful stones, akin to your crystals and would place them on his body as he lay on the ground in his teepee. There he would stay until he had his answer.

All of them were making contact with the Great Spirit through their crown centre,  the spiritual energy centre at the top of the head. Through this the Gods would give them visions and answers to their questions. They would ask specific questions about the place they planned to go to. They would ask about the predicted weather, about the buffalo and its whereabouts. They would ask about the abundance of small animals and about the types of medicinal plants available. They would ask about the presence of other tribes and whether the place would sustain our tribe as well, if another group were already present. We also needed to know if the other group would be agreeable to our sharing the area with them or if they would be hostile. If hostility was predicted we had to decide if we could frighten them off easily, or if they would stand their ground.calling-horse-crown-chakra1

Sometimes it would take the medicine man (who was the chief) and the elders up to a week to find answers to all these questions. Usually they were right but if they had been consuming some of our special brew which contained certain drugs, then their answers would be dubious. Our chief always tried to eliminate the possibility of this happening by banning it’s consumption during these times of decision making, however this was not always obeyed.

There was one old man who found it hard to resist the stuff and who had his own secret supply. He was in charge of ascertaining whether tribes were going to be hostile. On one occasion he confidently predicted that all would be well and we went ahead and moved to a beautiful valley three days journey from our present camp. The incumbents were so enraged at our intrusion that we had to beat a hasty retreat back to where we came from. The elders had to consider all over again the prospect of a move. That particular old man was retired from the job and another more sober individual was trained in his role.  He already knew how to meditate, but he was given a sequence to follow whereby he could call up the appropriate guides who knew about the tribe under consideration. Through his crown centre the answer would come. He would feel the movements of energy at the top of his head and he would know that his thoughts were not his own imagining, but that they were God inspired and therefore to be trusted. If however peoples’ motives were not of the highest order and they were seeking power or possession for its own sake then their answers may have lead to confusion and danger. That was the penalty of having the wrong motives, but a good chief would always see to it that this was not the case.

So through the Crown Centre our lives and movements were regulated. We did not need the sophisticated instruments of the late twentieth century. We had our ‘energy centres’ and the Great Spirit.

Law No.1: There is only one God and that is ‘The Great Spirit’ (a story for teens and adults from North American Indian Tradition)

This is channelled story from Calling Horse, an ancient Chief.

Law Number One:There is only one God and that is ‘The Great Spirit’


When tribes were few and far between and communication was rather poor each tribe had their own traditions and ideas about the nature of God or Gods.They worshipped the Sun and the Earth, the Sea and the Wind.The Stars were minor gods.There was indeed a heavenly confusion of gods.The question arose as to which god was the most powerful.Many an argument was aired in the quest to prove one god mightier than another.


I remember an occasion when a member of my tribe, a skilled and talented man of medicine, wished to show the tribe that the sun was mightier than the moon.This he attempted to prove by seeking the advice of some elders in the tribe who paid particular attention to the phases of the moon.


He set up a ‘competition’ between the sun and the moon at a time when he thought the moon was waning and would soon disappear.He desired to show the tribe that the land could survive without the moon, but not without the sun.Everyday the sun appeared whether the moon did or not.However he was unlucky.His elders had miscalculated and just when he had predicted that the moon would shrink and disappear it gradually began to increase night by night until one day, for a few minutes, it totally obscured the sun.The people were terrified.They knew nothing of eclipses.After the event the medicine man kept very quiet about the might of the Sun God.The tribe thought that perhaps he had angered the Gods by trying to set them up against each other.


Gradually people took to the idea of an overarching God that superseded all others.It was a popular idea because it removed the confusion and competition in peoples’ minds.No longer did they need to appease first this god and then that one.They simply gave thanks or asked the Great Spirit for help, and were content to acknowledge the One God of All.



Law Number 12: Love your Life…Story from North American Indian Lore, for age 10 to adult

This story was given to me in meditation by an ancient Indian Chief, ‘Calling Horse’.

Love your Life, Perfect Your Life, Beautify all Things in Your Life, Glory in Your Strength and Beauty

This Law was unspoken ‘common sense’ in most tribes, but some would quote it often.


Everyone knew the uplifting benefits of making an effort to produce beautiful artifacts, be they clothing, tents, tools or pots.All were appreciated both by the maker and the user, if true skills and craftsmanship were used in their making.


Likewise when people made an effort with their appearance, they could hold their heads up high.They were clean and handsome and admirable.A child would adore its parents and would wish to copy their sheen and style.Parents would train their offspring in the traditions of producing the clothing of their tribe.


I can tell you a story about a couple in my tribe, her name was Blue Bird and his, Red Fox.Their families used to joke about their possible betrothal.‘Will Red Fox catch the Blue Bird?’ they would ask.

Blue Bird’s family said she would not willingly be plucked of her feathers, as she was a strong and willful girl.However Red Fox was determined to catch her and for her to be pursuing him in the chase.He thought if she chased him, he would be able to agree, but if he chased her, being stubborn, maybe she never would give in.


It was a time of feasting, spring was in the air and several young braves had love and pursuit on their minds.So indeed did the young unmarried girls in the tribe.There were four braves and five girls all hoping for a match.This meant that one of the girls was going to be disappointed.Blue Bird was determined that it would not be her.


Over the winter when there was less to do by way of gathering plants, she made a special effort with her clothing.She carefully dyed the skins and cut and shaped them so perfectly that the other girls came to ask her to show them how to produce the same effects.She helped them, but she did not give away all of her secrets.Her grandmother had told her: ‘Some things must be kept in the family and handed down, mother to daughter, father to son. Not everyone needs know about your skills and techniques.It is not a matter of life or death whether you can look more handsome than the others in the tribe, but it will help you to secure the husband you desire.’


Blue Bird knew her grandmother was right.She showed the other girls how to dye their clothing, but she did not tell them quite all of the herbs that she used.She showed them how to create patterns on their tents, but she did not share her very finest needles and yarn with them.


When the feasting began the young men held competitions to show who was the strongest.She noticed that Yellow Cloud had the most stunning headdress and clothing, and that he seemed to be performing for her.She watched Red Fox out of the corner of her eye.She had always admired him but did not want to let him know, until the moment she saw him dancing towards another young girl known as Prairie Flower. A feeling arose in her which she hardly recognised.It was a feeling of panic and fear of the loss of him. She walked quickly to her tent, her eyes brimming.Her grandmother had been watching the proceedings. She knew exactly what was in the girl’s heart.


‘Be proud but be clever,’ said her grandmother.‘Stand behind Prairie Flower, not too close, and hold this token in your hand, almost as if you were offering it to him.Look at him; do not take your eyes off him.He will come to you.When he does, give it to him, touch his hand and look into his face.Then he will know that you have chosen him, and indeed that he has chosen you.’


Blue Bird took the token and walked proudly into a space behind Prairie Flower. Her black hair glinted in the sunlight, her garments draped over her shapely figure in the most flattering way. She looked at Red Fox, how strong and graceful he was! He might not be the most handsome young man, nor the best dressed, but she knew he was kind and amusing, strong and brave. She would be happy with him. She caught his eye. Not looking away she lifted the love token almost imperceptibly towards him. He did not need a second invitation.With a huge leap of joy and triumph he left the dancing braves and swept Blue Bird off her feet. They both shrieked with laughter as he carried her around the dancing circle. Soon all the young men were carrying a maiden. Only Prairie Flower sat alone, a single tear coursing down her cheek. One of the boys too young to take a wife respectfully approached her.

‘Prairie Flower, next year I will be choosing a wife, and if you would like to wait for me I would like to choose you.’


The girl’s father came over and said, ‘There is plenty of time for you to find a husband, Prairie Flower, and plenty of time for you to learn how to beautify yourself and your home. Go and talk to Blue Bird, she obviously knows a thing or two.’


‘Yes, Father,’ replied the young girl. ‘I shall continue to enjoy my life in your tent. I am not unhappy that I was not chosen. Next year my hair and my dress will be as beautiful as Blue Bird’s, and I will decorate your tent so that it rival’s the Chief’s tepee.’


‘You are a wise girl,’ said her father.‘Others may have entertained jealousy and anger in their hearts, but you know how to perfect your life with love and acceptance. Your mother has taught you well.’

‘Love your Life, Perfect Your Life, Beautify all Things in Your Life, Glory in Your Strength and Beauty



Law No 11, A story about Cleanliness ( American Indian Tradition) for 10year olds to adult


Told to me in meditation BY CALLING HORSE an ancient Chief.

When my people moved into a new place each family would be allocated a certain part of the camp to look after. They would set up their teepee or teepees. They would construct their own fire for cooking. They would have to care for the entire area under their control.
On one occasion I remember an argument between two families. It was about a certain bush. One said it was in their territory and so they could use it to hang their washing on, and the other said no, it was theirs. It was indeed a petty argument. However, there were deeper causes for this argument. In the past these people had argued amongst themselves over other things. One of the families was very clean and tidy. They would always be first at the river for morning ablutions.  There would never be loose stones lying around their teepee. Their drying plants would be arranged in tidy rows, hanging on ropes. Their teepee would never be torn or dirty looking. The other family, on the other hand, was very different. They would be last for ablutions, if they were there at all. They would never all have a wash on the same day. Some days two out of the five members would wash, other days, none. They were a foul smelling bunch. People used to castigate them for their bad habits and every so often one of them would get hurled into the river. Their ground around the teepee was never swept so that stones would hurt people’s feet if they walked by.

The clean tent and the dirty tent. All Calling Horse pics by Alan Nisbet

The clean tent and the dirty tent. All Calling Horse pics by Alan Nisbet

At the time when the two families were arguing about the bush for drying their clothes, we were in a camp where there was not really enough space for everyone to spread and to have their own privacy. People were irritating each other. The chief was having a hard time keeping the peace. The main reason that the clean family objected to the dirty ones was not on account of the small tree, but because they smelled so bad.  Their teepee smelled bad too and the clean family was just down wind of the offending tent.

The argument grew heated. The chief had to come and mediate. When he had heard both sides of the story and had inspected both the teepees and the surroundings of the two families, he sat down half way between the two tents.
“I shall let my senses be the judge of this argument.” he said.
“As I sit here, I am aware of the tent over there even if I close my eyes. I can smell it. I am aware of the tent over there if I walk round it with my eyes closed, because I stumble on the stones scattered around it. I am aware of the family which lives in that teepee over there, because even with my back turned upon them I can smell them. They are clearly not following the laws of the Great Spirit with regard to cleanliness.
I ask myself how I can help these people to tread on the correct path, the proper way, the Way of The Great Spirit. The answer is this. I feel that if only they had a little bush to hang their dirty clothes upon, they would be able to wash their bodies and their clothes.They would also able to clean the tent and wash the cleaning skins and hang them out to dry. It is clearly because they do not have this bush to dry their washed clothes upon, that they are such a smelly, dirty family. So I think they should have the bush. The clean family will have to set up a rope and some sticks to dry their clothes upon. I expect they will arrange their washing in a very beautiful design.”

With that the chief stood up, the dirty family looking very embarrassed and the clean family looking rather bemused.
“Carry on, my Children,” said the old man. “The Great Spirit enjoys the sweet smell of cleanliness. See what you can do to provide it for Him!”

Keep the feasts, learn the dances, respect the taboos. Law No.4 (a story about Traditions of North American Indians)

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. This is Law Number Four, about keeping the feasts, learning the dances and respecting the taboos of the tribe.

First some information from Calling Horse:

Feasts were of great importance to the Native American. That is what you call us these days is it not? We would celebrate with great enthusiasm those events mentioned in my story. Being social events they held the tribe together. People could meet and talk, with no distractions of work needing to be done. People could make up their quarrels in the camaraderie of the dance. Their hearts would be warmed by all the activity and hard attitudes would soften. Feasts were also a good time for young people to see and meet each other. They broke up what would otherwise have been a very hard life, filled with work, the work of staying alive.
The dances were an important part of our tradition. They conveyed the meaning of things which were very important to us in our lives and gave expression to them. Complicated rhythms would be developed, enabling people to feel the vibrations of the music in their bodies. This would sometimes prepare them for a task, or add to the celebration of a particular event. The story of the tribe was held in the dances. They were very sacred to us. The taboos enabled us to conduct ourselves in acceptable ways, where every one knew quite clearly what could or could not be done or said. Likewise the customs gave us a framework for our lives. Customs surrounding birth, death and initiation into manhood and so on all played an important part in the development of the tribe and its members.

My tribe, the Magi, was a small tribe which disappeared many years ago.
We all had our different customs and sometimes tribes would merge and take on the identity of a neighbouring tribe as well as their own.
The Magi Tribe joined forces with the Seeni Tribe and the two of them pooled their customs, threw out a few old practices and took on the best aspects of each other’s traditions.
As each child grew up it would be educated in the ways of the tribe. When the two tribes merged, it was obvious that there would be a little rivalry between the children of the two tribes, each vying with their opposites to show that their way was best.
There was a ceremony which took place at the end of the hunting season. This was to thank the Great Spirit for the bounty of the Earth. The animals had to be left in peace to breed for some months and we would only catch certain small animals at these times. However, just before this rather lean time there would be a great celebration. Meat would be roasted. Costumes would be prepared and all the traditional dances of the occasion would be practiced by the young ones, so that they knew what to do when the big event came.
At the time of the Great Joining of the two tribes, the children were trying to make sure that it was their dance which would be performed. It was decided that they should show each other what they could do. The ones which could last the longest without being tedious for the onlookers to watch, their dance would be deemed to be the best and would be adopted as the one for the new conjoined tribe. This led to great hilarity amongst the dancers because nobody wanted to be accused of being boring. They improvised all sorts of activities which were added to their traditional movements. Finally the elders said that they were all so good, it would be impossible to choose between them. So they would have to copy the elders…. The youngsters then watched a majestic performance depicting the chase and the slaughter of the deer, first by one tribe, then by the other. They were so similar that it was decided that either or both dances would be acceptable.
As to the question of taboos there were many of these in some tribes and very few in others. Some tribes used to forbid the taking of ‘fire water’, others tolerated it. Some tribes would not talk of their newly dead until a certain time had elapsed, believing that the dead soul needed every chance he could have to be judged fairly by the Great Spirit and if they gossiped and talked about the person, they might jeopardize a fair trial. There were taboos associated with birth. Usually the men were not allowed anywhere near the mother in labour and not until the child was seen to be healthy and ‘in good suck’ was the father allowed to see his offspring.
If two tribes conjoined, the chiefs would have to discuss their taboos in great detail to see if any changes needed to be made regarding what was acceptable and what was not. It rarely led to arguments but it could lead to unnecessary superstition.
Once I remember hearing about a certain group who believed that the new moon was a Goddess that had to be appeased and when she appeared the husbands were not allowed to sleep with their wives on that first night after her appearance. It they did, they lived in fear of her retribution. This led to all sorts of threats and cheating of course. Eventually it was abandoned by the tribe as the chief decided it caused more trouble than it was worth!
There were many feasts to be kept. The tribes enjoyed an excuse for a party. They loved to dress up in their feathers and their paint and dance the night away, as you say. There would be feasts to celebrate the initiation of the chief; this would be repeated every year until the old chief died and another replaced him. Then the timing of the event would be changed of course according to when the new chief was initiated. There would be feasts to celebrate the births of babies in families where there had been some difficulty in producing a child. There would be feasts in honour of the Sun and the Moon. Each tribe would have sacred animals which they considered to be God’s messengers and they would celebrate in the name of these animals.
They would celebrate if they had won a battle over another tribe, or if having moved camp they had found a really good new place to settle in. They would celebrate if they had a death of a great personage in the tribe knowing that he or she would now be with the Great Spirit, and they would make supplications to that person to put in a good word for the tribe and to ask for boons such as good hunting and good health.

Feasts and traditions

Feasts and traditions

dancing would go on all night long. People were allowed to retire if they became too tired and usually the young mothers and fathers would take their small offspring back home well before the celebrations had ended.
The next day was always a rest day. People were not expected to hunt or to fish after a feast. No clothes washing was done, nor any major preparing of food. The remains of the meat cooked on the fire the previous day would suffice. Every one felt pleasantly exhausted and would stumble around amiably. This was a vulnerable time for the tribes, as their enemies would know they could be overcome most easily at this time. Certain young warriors were supposed to have kept themselves on the alert, and would act as guards on the day after a feast, posting themselves well outside the camp, watching for any signs of warlike activity. Normally there would be no trouble, but in times of food shortage, hard winters or bad weather, tribes would chance their luck and try to raid another tribes’ food supply for example. So there were drawbacks as well as benefits to all those marvellous celebrations.

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.