I had probably seen most of the PBS documentary on the Native Americans called 500 Nations years ago, but recently found them again with all 8 episodes compressed into four 1.5 hour YT videos and have been watching them on and off all week. They are hard to watch, especially the many parts about how the European invaders treated them like animals, hunting, herding, using small pox germ warfare, killing them, using them as slaves, trying to crush anything Indian in them out of the children in the military style schools, and eventually enclosing them in what small reservations remain. But there is as much good as bad in this documentary, lots of quotes of the elders, lots of modern Native Americans quoting their elders and speaking their own wisdom, so it evens out in the end and those are the things i remember and have even written down. Those of you in the US may have seen these before, but those of you in the UK and Europe and the Far East will find them very informative and educational parts of our history, the good the bad and the ugly.
I remember walking out the theater years ago after watching Dances with Wolves how i hung my head low with guilt and embarrassment as one of Scots-Irish, English and German descent. But the fact is any European who came to this country 150-200 years ago Does have Native American and African blood in their DNA mix. My mom told me of her great great grandma being almost pure Native American, probably of the original Lenni Lenape tribes in this area.
BTW a witch and native religion medicine woman in our coven has very close ties and she says it is pronounced “Leni Lepi” and she was at a powwow and met an old clan mother, probably the same one i used to talk to at the local powwow, who has now passed on, and she had a medicine bundle which had been buried who knows how long ago that was an oiled skin with 4 shells in it. She said Spirit told her to keep one and hand out the other 3 to someone Spirit would tell her is worthy, and my friends was one of those.
Our Coven on the surface may be BTW but our co-founder Lady Phoebe had Native blood in her and remembers a past life living as a woman in the area. Up where the Covenstead was across the river years ago they built a nuclear power plant, so they also had to clear lots of land for the large poles for the large power lines and stumbled upon a Native burial ground. The State Museum archeologists were call in to excavate and a man i know was an archeology student there and he said how the whole town would come down to watch, including Dr Santee and Lady Phoebe. And as they were digging up one male she pointed over a few feet away and told them to dig there and they would find a woman, so they dug there, and they Did. Also Lady Phoebe’s mother and grandmother taught her the Native ways including herbalism and their folk magic. Addendum 4 Feb 2014 – the Indian graveyard was from the 1600s which means my artifacts given to me are also that old!
Native American Altar – photo Copyright 2014 GLHoke
At the Santee Library he had a shelf of many artifacts and she gave me a fairly large scraper and pestle which i cherish and have on my Native American altar on the sun porch facing the stream and i have a copper sun disk and some statues of Quetzalcoatl and Coatlicue all brought back from Mexico by a nurse i used to work with whose husband was Mexican, and those artifacts are standing on the bottom shelf. The rest is mostly river stones i have found. I offer up copal incense to them at times.
Besides working as a Witch i have also tried to work with the Native spirits in the woods around me, but if i write on that, and i think i have in other blog posts, we will never get to the movie, LOL. It seems like i have combined two planned posts into one here anyway, so that is a good thing.
I think as our coven continues to grow besides the BTW side, with the addition of a High Priestess who has Lots of Native blood in her and who was taught by her father who seems a bit of a shaman, spending hours out in the shed chanting, and the addition of another Initiate soon with Native roots and practices, that we will come Full Circle back to what our blessed teacher Lady Phoebe came from on both sides, her Mother and Sybil Leek.
In my opinion what we as Witches try to rediscover of our European pagan religion, very efficiently wiped out by larger later religions, can be found in the Native American and other native tribes around the world that have survived in the wilds of the Himalayas and SE Asia, South America and Africa. I remember decades ago a book of pictures about the Dalai Lama meeting with a Hopi elder and the comparisons between the religious artwork and artifacts and practices was Amazing.
Each video 1.5 hours = total 6 hours, so enjoy it over the weekend and days ahead, maybe instead of the Superbowl….
Peace and Blessings this Candlemas / Inbolc weekend!