Posts tagged: shamanism

About the Author – Who I Am and Why I Write – What’s in It for You?

Here I am, shortly before I lost my crown.

The “About the Author” portion of any book usually sounds as though the writer is sequestered on the far side of the moon, leaving an all-knowing narrator to hand out propaganda. I’m going to skip that and tell you my real story, heart to heart.

I was born to be a princess. I was a princess, for a while. My parents overcame the poverty of their youth by becoming extremely successful. My hometown was one of the most affluent places in the country. Giant oaks, old mansions, and flashy cars surrounded me. I spent my time showing horses and water-skiing behind my dad’s obscenely overpowered boat.

Princess Sandy died when a drunk driver hit my father head-on in 1964, killing him. Those words aren’t enough. My father didn’t die right away. Days after the accident, he died of suffocation, as blood clots from his massive internal injuries broke loose, traveled through his veins, and lodged in his lungs.

My old life vanished. Through structures and systems I will not describe, I lived at a below poverty level income for a while. I could qualify for food stamps, yet I worried that I wasn’t doing enough charitable work. My brain still thought I was upper class.

What happened in the coming years opened my eyes. I’ve seen and lived the over-privileged existence I describe in the Bloodsong Series. I’ve seen how ephemeral its rewards are and how it warps those who are trapped by it. I’ve seen how it masks mental illness and cruelty.

Want to know why a San Francisco-born, Silicon Valley-raised woman is so obsessed with Native Americans? After I’d drafted a few thousand pages of the Bloodsong books, I had this giant Ahah! At least half of the characters were Native Americans. Why? I don’t think I’d ever seen an Indian.

I realized that had lived the lite version of what happened to Native Americans. They had the kingdom––the entire continent––and lost it. I know how losing everything feels. They were treated abominably for centuries, and had the worst abuse hurled at them. Then they were asked, “What’s the matter with you? Why aren’t you doing better, you lazy bums?” I know all about that, too, and much, much more.

My writing has a bite. My life has had a bite. Recovering from what happened to me has taken many years. But I have not just recovered, I have triumphed. What was legitimately mine came back to me, along with the fruit of my own labor. My husband––the love of my life––and I are almost embarrassingly harmonious. We’ve been together forty years. We live on our horse ranch, the most beautiful place I’ve seen.

If your life echoes the first, oh, fifty years of mine, you might find something for yourself in my books. My writing isn’t for everyone. I write about people getting better and the world working out, but its not always gentle and nice. A reviewer described my Mogollon as “equal parts horror, spiritual, romance, and action.” If that’s for you, you’re my reader.

I write visionary fiction, which is about making the world a better place. Why do I write that with the bio above? Because of I have had huge spiritual experiences all my life, as well as gentler ongoing guidance. Whatever is behind them and this earthly life wants me to sing my songs. And I did triumph over what befell me.

What’s in my writing for you? What do you get out of it? A darn good story. Insight into your own life and spirit. People write to me all the time, saying how powerful my work is and how it helped them. Maybe it will help you, too.

Now for my “regular bio”: I went to school a very long time and have two advanced degrees. I’ve had prestigious careers. My writing has won twenty-four national awards. I have three grown children and two grandchildren. I write a lot, and I’m happy.

SANDY NATHAN

By purest happenstance,  I have two new books to  tell you about. They both reflect everything above

Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem (Bloodsong 2)

MOGOLLON: A TALE OF MYSTICISM & MAYHEM This is the long-awaited sequel to Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, in which a great Native American shaman mets the richest man in the world. In Mogollon, Will Duane and Grandfather not only meet, they mix it up. This book is wild, utterly imaginative, and the opening salvo to a whole bunch more Bloodsong books. Prepare to have your reality stretched and tested. This is the book the reviewer called “equal parts horror, spiritual, romance, and action.”

Best way to find out about Mogollon is visit its Amazon page. Mogollon is available in both Kindle and print forms.

While I love my Kindle, I would buy this one as a trade paperback just for the cover. They guy on the horse is Rick Mora, a Native American actor and model. He’s one of the most photographed Natives in the world. I’m honored and delighted to have him grace Mogollon’s cover. The rear cover isn’t too bad, either. It depicts Will Duane, Master of the Universe.

 

 

 

 

Leroy Watches Jr. & the Bad*ss Bull

LEROY WATCHES JR. & THE BAD*SS BULL was a surprise to me.  I read the final version of  Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem and thought, Hmm. People are going to like this. They are also going to want more. (There’s a third book in the series, Phenomenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Miracles, which takes the week from late Wednesday night to closing on Saturday. LOTS happens in those days and nights. I have Phenomenon draft form and need but rewrite it to send it into the world.)

But let me tell you a secret about writing. Staring at an unshaped lump of 150,000 words and knowing that you will become intimately acquainted with every one of them before the war is over is daunting. That’s what I have to do to get Phenomenon into your hands. More than that, really. You don’t need to know. Even worse, what if I am beset by writer’s block the way I was with Mogollon and can’t even scribble my name for years?

Thinking mightily, I came up with , What if I tossed out a little something to give my readers something new to imbibe while they’re waiting for the next Bloodsong book? (That’s in case they don’t discover my Earth’s End Trilogy, thousands of pages all done up and ready to be read.) And maybe I can do more of little somethings, time permitting?”

So I did. The first of these newer, smaller books, known simply as Leroy by friends, is about the shaman Grandfather’s grandson, Leroy Watches Jr. Leroy is the family screw-up, simple as that. His he a failed shaman? I would never say anything like that in the book. But maybe he is. Or maybe he’s he’s a slow developer.

He does talk about the time he went to a neighbor’s ranch to heal a cow and struck oil. His life is like that. And it is in this book.

Leroy Watches Jr. & the Bad*ss Bull  is my first entry in the humor arena. Writing it was so fun! I sat in front of my computer laughing my *ss off.

It turns out that you can read Leroy  before, during or after Mogollon. Leroy sets the stage and fills in background, but it doesn’t spill the beans on Mogollon. And it’s only $1.99. Such a deal. The print version of the book is on the cusp of publication. You might want to check it out. Leroy is also worth bying for the cover alone.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money – Silicon Valley’s Corporate Culture Meets a Great Shaman and his People

Have you heard of Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money? You might have. Back in 2009 when it came out,  Numenon was Amazon Kindle’s #1 ranked title in three categories of mysticism for about a year. It cruised around the 1,500th level of Kindle sales, which is phenomenal. I did nothing to promote the book and really didn’t think its performance was anything special. Until it was over.

Now I feel about Numenon the way I feel about all those pictures of myself that weren’t taken when I was young and beautiful. “I only I’d known what would happen . . .” Alas, no time for whining.

I’d like to introduce you to Numenon for the first time, or the second or even third. The fastest way to do it is like this:

Numenon  is the story of a group of people trying to reach their authentic selves, and God. Its characters include the richest man in the world, Will Duane, and a great Native shaman known as Grandfather. The contingent from Numenon, Inc. travel to a retreat given by the shaman in the New Mexico desert. Many things happen as the team makes its way to the retreat site, a supernatural place which is probably the greatest power spot on the planet. Evil strikes when they’re most vulnerable.

Even with all the hoopla and action, the book is essentially about people seeking to fill the aching void in their hearts with something real.

I’ve written about Numenon in other articles, but I want to talk about new things.  Some of these things are pretty obvious, but no one’s asked about them. I also want to show you how it feels to hang out with top Stanford and Harvard MBAs (Master’s in Business Administration), a shaman, and the richest man on earth.

First off, where did I get that hard to pronounce, weird title? What does numenon (or noumenon) mean? It’s the thing-in-itself, reality beyond the material world. We can never know the numenon. All we can know is what comes in through the senses. Our reality is limited to our brains’ interpretation of incoming nerve impulses. We cannot get to the world as it is.  Ever. Immanuel Kant laid out the problem in 1783 with The Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics.

Why is this important? It’s the Western equivalent of what Eastern philosophy––Hinduism and Buddhism and other schools of thought––has said forever: the world we live in is an illusion.

Why did Will Duane pick Numenon as the name of his corporation? He’s showing that he’s intellectual, and hip. Also, he has close to a major in philosophy as an undergraduate, a course of study that saved  his life, as it did mine. He’s interested in the numenon, which we can only infer, and its opposite, the phenomenon, experienced reality, with which we’re stuck.

What’s that image on the cover of Numenon? It is based on the Shiva Nataraj, the Dancing Shiva. Shiva is one of the Hindu trinity, the part representing destruction, but which also has a powerful creative backwash. Shiva is also the all-pervasive aspect of God, existing always and everywhere.

Numenon’s founder and CEO, Will Duane, chose the Shiva Nataraj as his corporation’s logo. Numenon is the largest and most powerful corporation in history, named after a difficult philosophical concept. Its icon is the face of God.

We’re not talking about reality TV or game shows here. I write for grown-ups, about big issues. And I don’t write like a girl. I’d give Numenon an R rating if it were a movie.

Numenon won six national awards. Winning the Silver Nautilus in the Bicultural Category was a thrill. The Nautilus Award acknowledges superior books making a contribution to world peace and the evolution of consciousness. People like the Dalai Lama have won it. The Silver Medal in the IPPY Awards (Independent Press Awards) was also a thrill. Thousands of books were entered. Numenon won the Silver Medal in the Visionary Fiction category. The wins in Best Books and Indie Excellence were also thrilling. Numenon won in multiple categories in these awards: Visionary Fiction, Religious Fiction, and Multicultural Fiction.


THE STORY:

Numenon is about the richest man in the world going to a spiritual retreat held by a great Native American shaman.  The book is essentially the Native world juxtaposed against Silicon Valley. It’s a search for God and meaning. The story could easily degenerate into a stereotyped tale about the good, spiritual Natives vs. greedy, bad corporate people. It doesn’t.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE TWO CULTURES REPRESENTED IN Numenon. WE’LL START WITH SILICON VALLEY. I know most about that. I was born in San Francisco and lived in the heart of what became the Valley most of my life: in the towns/cities of Palo Alto, Cupertino, Atherton, and Woodside.

Numenon’s hero is the richest man in the world. Do you know any extremely successful people––those who made the money themselves? They’re a little different than regular folks.  I haven’t met Bill Gates or any of the planet’s economic luminaries. I have met my dad. He rose from a penniless immigrant to the owner to the 9th largest residential construction company in the US in its heyday. People do not attain that kind of success because they’re lazy or stupid.

My dad moved as fast as a human being can go, dancing on a razor’s edge. He was brilliant, disciplined, and way beyond hard working. Explosive. Demanding. As inspiring as any minister. He had visions prophetic dreams–he wouldn’t call them that, but I  knew what they were when he talked about them. The image of the soulless businessman is incorrect.

What was it like living with him? Like having Secretariat in the kitchen. Thrilling and terrifying.

Will Duane is based somewhat on my dad, and on many other men I knew when I lived in Silicon Valley. He’s not an unusual type, though I think my presentation is unusual in that I present spirituality in a businessman. It shows up differently than it would in a meditation master, but it’s there.

I WAS ASKED HOW I WOULD CAST THE BOOK IF IT WERE MADE INTO A MOVIE.

Starting with the Silicon Valley side:

Ed Harris as Will Duane, the Richest Man in the World

I’d put Ed Harris  in for Will Duane, CEO and founder of Numenon. Ed Harris has the intensity and intelligence, as well as acting ability, to play someone as  powerful, and tormented as Will Duane. I will never forget the visceral pain of Harris’s performance as a gay man dying of AIDs in The Hours.

Will’s staff: Will goes to the Native retreat in a caravan of matched RVs, including his own million-dollar motor home. Over-the-top is the Numenon way. He brings a professional and support staff to the retreat, including a world-class chef. “The Best of the Best: That’s Numenon.”

Will only hires first-in-their-class MBAs (Master’s of Business Administration) from top graduate schools for his personal staff. Do you know what it means to be first in your class at the Harvard Business School or the Stanford Graduate School of Business?

Think Secretariat on speed. You have to be around a major graduate school to feel the intensity, intelligence and competitive drive.

Actually, to get the feel of Silicon Valley, go here: Buck’s of Woodside. Literally go there, for breakfast. Buck’s is a zany restaurant in the laid back and incredibly wealthy Town of Woodside.. The elite of the tech world––venture capitalists or VCs–– meet at Buck’s for breakfast; the action is over at 9AM. Netscape and I don’t know how many other tech firms were created over oatmeal and coffee at Buck’s. I walked in one morning and felt like the turkey we deep-fried last Thanksgiving when it hit the oil. Zapped and sizzling. I’m surprised no one was levitating. A geek sat at every table. Laptops were required, ties were not. Everyone had a deal going down. If you can get to Buck’s, be sure and steal the menu. It’s hysterical. Say hi to Jamis McGiven, the owner, for me. We’re old friends. You gotta feel the vibe to get the Valley.

More on what top business schools and their denizens are like: I was in the doctoral program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business once (“the year I almost got an ulcer”). One of my fellow doctoral students had been first in his Stanford MBA class before deciding to get a PhD. Really nice guy. He’ll probably take over the world one day.

Hillary Swank as Melissa Weir

That’s the kind of person I’m describing when I say Hillary Swank could play Melissa Weir, the Harvard MBA who is Will Duane’s protégé. Melissa’s achievement in school and at Numenon is astonishing. Hillary is smart, intense, and a super actress. Plus after playing in Million Dollar Baby, she could knock the bad buys into the next county, just like Melissa.

Choosing a photo of Hillary as Melissa was tricky. Most of the photos show her partially undressed and looking sexy, or beat black and blue as in Million Dollar Baby. Your typical top-of-her-class Harvard MBA might go around partially undressed, but not during working hours. She might feel as though she’d been beaten, but most likely, it wouldn’t show. Stuff that happens in boardrooms may hurt, but it won’t leave bruises. I chose the picture of Hillary Swank above because it has that racehorse at top speed. That’s Melissa Weir.

Russell Crowe as Doug Saunders

Russell Crowe would do well as Doug Saunders, Will’s hatchet man and the corporate bad boy. Doug was top of his MBA class at Stanford and has adapted to the Numenon code, which is something like, “If you can screw it, do it.”

Jon Walker––Will Duane's Private Chef

Jon Walker is Will Duane’s private chef, “the best chef in the world.” Numenon culture requires that he be the best. Although he looks about twelve years old in the photo, Jon graduated from Le Condon Bleu in Paris, learning culinary technique as well as restaurant and hospitality management. He cooked at top restaurants in New York, Paris, and San Francisco before working for Will Duane. During Numenon, Jon is grieving the death of his soul mate, ‘Rique Maldonado, a top San Francisco interior designer. ‘Rique died of AIDs.

I’m shining the spotlight on Jon  because he has a major role in the Bloodsong Series. I’ve just completed drafts to two books in which he is a main character.

WHAT ABOUT THE NATIVE AMERICAN SIDE?

Grandfather by Lily Nathan

Grandfather, the shaman who is the heart of Numenon and the whole Bloodsong Series, is impossible to cast. I’ve had the good fortune to study with two meditation masters and a tai chi master. I did this over a long time––about thirty years, all told. When I got within ten feet of  my first meditation master, my brain would bliss out so that I couldn’t think. People in the meditation hall (including me) routinely had experiences similar to those in the Bible. Visions, raptures, prophetic knowledge. Love overflowed in every direction. The experiences I had in long­­––all night, sometimes––chants were so intensely pleasurable that I can imagine nothing better, including everything.

What is being with these giants of humanity like? The lift off factor is amazing. If you don’t get a contact high from them, they’re not the real thing. Any actor playing Grandfather should be able to project the ecstasy so that viewers feel it. He’s not just a cute old guy.

I used the painting of Grandfather above as an indication of what Grandfather might look like. The painting is by Lily Nathan, my daughter.

When I was writing Numenon,  I modeled Joseph Bishop––the name given to Grandfather by white people in the Indian Schools––after the spiritual masters I have known.

I apparently nailed him. One person who had studied with a Native shaman told me, “You really got the shaman. The man I studied with was exactly like that.” I’ve also had Native Americans tell me, “I want to study with Joseph Bishop.” Sorry, he doesn’t exist.

While a number of actors could portray people from  Silicon Valley, no actor could portray  Grandfather and his Power.

OTHER NATIVE AMERICAN CHARACTERS: Four thousand people attend the retreat. All but ten are Natives.  Many casting opportunities exist. I’ll pick a few.

Wesley Silverhorse has a small part in Numenon. His part is larger in Mogollon, Numenon’s sequel, and keeps going through the rest of the Bloodsong Series. But he could have a one-line part and take over the book. He’s that spectacular.

Wesley Silverhorse is an archetype. The word “archetype” derives from the Greek and Latin, meaning  “beginning, origin” and “pattern, model, type.” An archetype is the pattern for a certain type of human being. Many archetypes exist. The earth mother, seductress, child, hero, martyr, wise old man/woman, warrior, mentor, and trickster are archetypes. Oh, yeah, the devil, aka Satan, is an archetype.

The easiest way to explain archetypes is to tell a story. Numenon has been around in draft form since 1995. The character Wesley Silverhorse popped into my mind early on. He is an archetype known as: The Babe. He’s gorgeous. As the Hero, he’s also kind, and smart, empathetic,  brave, and as spiritually adept as most saints. He’s an unbeatable Warrior. Because of his spiritual Powers, the People believe he will be Grandfather’s successor. He is so good looking that even old ladies like me swoon imagining his comely form.

Wesley Silverhorse became a fixture in my family’s life. If I was driving with my daughters and saw a fantastic looking, maybe Native, guy, I’d shout out, “Whoa! Is he Wesley?” The girls would respond, “Nah, that guy back on University Ave. was better.”

This developed into a code. A man could be “half a Wesley” or a “quarter of a Wesley.” We never got a full Wesley, no one could be that good-looking, but the search was fun. It was a great way to bond with my daughters. Try it with your kids.

The point being that Wesley can’t exist in the real world. Nothing is as glowing as the contents of consciousness, and Wesley is that––the construction of my subconscious. (A note about this. Archetypes can be dangerous. They are mesmerizing, and very powerful psychologically. If you find someone who looks like Wesley and toss your hubbie of thirty years in a lust-flavored rush, that is almost certainly a mistake.)

So, who would I cast as Wesley Silverhorse? I started by doing basic research, Googling Beautiful Native American Men. This search provided many tantalizing possibilities. Check it out. Everyone needs inspiration.

I quickly settled on (drumroll . . .) Rick Mora. You’ll see him all over (and see pretty much all of him) on his website and the Beautiful Native American Men search. He comes about as close to the fictitious Wesley Silverhorse as I can imagine. (In the interest of scholarly investigation, I will keep looking, of course.)

The only person in the world better looking than Wesley Silverhorse is his younger brother, Benny. Rick Mora could play him, too. (I chose the photo below with a horse peeking out because Wesley & Benny Silverhorse are superb horsemen. Being raised on a ranch in Wyoming will do that.)

Rick Mora

Exceptionally beautiful people face a problem: objectification. Admirers turn them into collections of body parts and take away their essence. Beautiful people have many qualities in addition to their looks: moral principles,  feelings, values, will, drive, intelligence, loyalty, love, fidelity and many other talents and attributes.  Those who focus on looks alone miss all that and reduce human beings to objects. A loss for everyone.

Traditionally, women have been objectified most: Marilyn Monroe and all the Playboy centerfolds. Now men are being objectified by women. Jon Hamm (the astonishingly good-looking star of Mad Men) has complained of this. Here’s an article about it (Don’t be shocked. This article has some pretty explicit discussion. It’s also funny.)

I’m sorry, Mr. Mora, if I have objectified you. I’d like to invite readers to check out his web site. He’s involved with a number of causes and is way more than a pretty face.

Other Native American cast membersThe characters go on and on––this book would be a Native American actors’ Stimulus Package if made into a film. (I’d settle for a mini-series like Game of Thrones . . .)

Sacheen Littlefeather

Elizabeth Bright Eagle, MD, MPH is one of the most important characters in the book. Dr. Bright Eagle is an internationally respected physician and philanthropist. The only things she can do better than heal are shoot and ride. Elizabeth was born and raised on her family’s cattle ranch in southeastern Oregon. She’s my kind of heroine.

Actress Sacheen Littlefeather attained notice when she turned town the Academy Award on behalf of Marlon Brando. Brando was protesting the treatment of Native Americans in films. I think she’d make a great Elizabeth.

 

 

 

Adam Beach as Bud Creeman

Bud Creeman is another of my favorite characters. Constantly underrated by everyone but Grandfather, Bud saves the day. He has a lovely sweetness and essential kindness. Adam Beach could to this role. Unfortunately, to play Bud, he’d have to gain forty pounds and age  fifteen years.



 

 

 

Wes Studi

 

Wes Studi could play a few parts. He’s got all the intensity of Ed Harris. Wes could play Dr. Tyler Brand, the very cool Native American professor and spirit warrior. Or Paul Running Bird, Mr. Sleaze.

 

 

 

 

Tantoo Cardinal

Tantoo Cardinal


Tantoo Cardinal could play Leona Brand, Tyler Brand’s politician wife.

 

 

 

 

 

Irene Bedard

Irene Bedard

 

Irene Bedard should be in the film just because she’s beautiful. She could play half a dozen parts.

 

 

 

 

 

We talked about Wesley Silverhorse being an archetype. Do other archetypes show up? All the characters I’ve discussed are archetypes. There’s another big one: When you’re talking about ultimate good, what arises in response? Ultimate evil. What’s that? The Dark Lord, Satan.

The only thing I like better than writing good guys is writing bad guys. The writing starts to sizzle when the villain appears. The Dark Lord has a bit part in Numenon and a major part in Mogollon, its sequel. Which I’m working on . . .

That’s it. If you want to buy the book, you can get it on Amazon as a hardback or a Kindle version. The hardback is beautiful. You can also get the hardback from me for less than half of what Amazon’s charging.

 Here’s the book on my web site, which talks about Numenon’s six national awards and what reviewers and experts have said about it.

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Why am I telling you this? Because NUMENON’S sequel,  MOGOLLON: A TALE OF MYSTICISM & MAYHEM, is coming. You might as well  read NUMENON so you’ll be up to speed when all hell really breaks loose.

SANDY’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

LINKS TO SANDY’S SIX BOOKS!
They range from wild sci-fi to adorable children’s nonfiction. You’ll find something you’ll like in the list below:

  • NUMENON,  a novel about the richest man in the world meeting a great Native American shaman
  • STEPPING OFF THE EDGE, a modern day spiritual companion
  • TECOLOTE, the adorable kids’ book about a baby horse.
  • EARTH’S END––the new, three book sci-fi/fantasy/visionary series that takes you to the end of the world, and beyond.
    The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy––Tomorrow morning, a nuclear holocaust will destroy all life on Earth. Only two people can stop it: a sixteen-year-old tech genius and revolutionary and an angelic visitor from another planet.
    Lady Grace––The radiation has cleared. A few survivors make it back to Piermont Manor to start a new life. What they face is a battle more deadly than any they’ve fought. Right away they learn that evolution can work for evil as well as good.
    The Headman & the Assassin––He knew her job was murder––murdering people that is. Sam Baahuhd had been the village headman for 22 years when a nuclear holocaust forces him and the ninety plus other villagers into an underground bomb shelter. When Sam carries a naked stranger into the shelter minutes before the bombs go off, he has no idea that she will set his life on fire.

 

First There Was Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money, Now There Is Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem (Bloodsong Series II) Grandfather’s Invocation and Chapter One

Many of you are fans of my first novel, Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money. This was the story of the richest man in the world, a Silicon Valley billionaire, meeting a great Native American shaman. You fans have been enormously patient waiting for the sequel. I, on the other hand, have been tormented, going through every kind of writer’s block that exists, and maybe some more writer’s maladies than that, rewriting the first draft. But it’s done! Pitching me into another type of torment, the editing process. Even that is showing progress. Here’s the edited version of the first chapter. Mogollon will come out in 2013. Really. I promise.

Here’s the finished first chapter of  Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticsm & Mayhem

Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money is on sale for 99 c. That’s sort of accidental, I can’t get Amazon’s dashboard to raise the price to it’s pre-sale level. So, 99c until I get the glitch handled. Your gain is my loss. You can snag Numenon and be all set for the sequel.

Numenon on the US Kindle store.
Numenon on the UK Kindle store.

 INTRODUCTION:  GRANDFATHER’S INVOCATION

He stood in the deepest place. He stood in the place that was closest to the core. He stood in the sacred place and held the eagle feather. He raised the feather to the sky, to the sky people, to the guardians of the world above.

“I pray to you, people of the sky, be with us this week, this week be with us. Stay with us and keep us safe.” The shaman spoke in the old language, his voice rising and falling. It was neither querulous nor weak. No one hearing it would guess his age.

Hundreds of warriors watched silently, sitting in the deepest place. Grandfather turned to the four directions, one by one.

“I pray to you, guardians of the North, for the strength to overcome the cold time, to get through the hard time. Let the People come to this last Meeting. Let them come with clear eyes to see what is here. Let them see the Great One, behind and beyond and through all places and directions.”

Let them give up their strife and faultfinding, the old man prayed silently. Let them stop picking each word I say apart. Let them see you, O Great One, and stop fighting me. I am your tool and your soldier, nothing more.

Grandfather swayed on his feet, feeling the Presence of the One. Oh, Great One! You who fills all the earth, the stars; the things that we can see, and the things that we cannot see. I love you! I praise you! I worship you!

“Let the People feel the river of love this week. Let each of them learn what he came here to learn. Let each learn what she came to learn. Take away the darkness, oh Lord, and bring us your light.”

He turned to the East. “I praise you, Guardians of the East. Give us your power, the power of new life, the power of spring over winter, of awakening. Watch us and give us victory.”

Give us victory over the intruders from the outside, over the intruders from the inside, he prayed in his silent heart. Free us from the poison thoughts and feelings, from the desire to see only small things and differences. Let us see that we are the same. As you are the One, so we are one.

Bud Creeman stood next to Grandfather, circulating the smoke with his feathers. He let out a piercing cry. “I see you, Great One! I see you!” He raised his hands high.

The old man turned and held the feather over his head. “I praise you, great Southern warriors. I praise you with great love. Thank you for your peace, your serenity. Your plenty, the plenty of summer and the good harvest. Be with us this week, show us your bounty.”

Let us accept your bounty with graciousness and love, he prayed. And let us recognize a great gift when it may appear small, or not what we wanted, or not a gift at all.

And then to the West, the Western gate, the passage between this world and the other side. “Watcher of the Gate, let us die and die again, the little deaths that mean growth and change. Let the parts of us that need to die go, and the parts that need to live stay. May we pass through your doorway in glory when the last dying comes!”

And may our visitors from the great corporation get what they need this week, he voiced silently. May they have the love they need, the courage they need; may they have the will to die and be reborn.

He sang in the old language, voice rising over the Bowl. He stood in the deepest part of the Bowl, in the place they called the amphitheater, the Pit. Where the meteor stuck long before the dawn of days. Grandfather knew that the meteor did not give the Power. The Power was there before anything. The Power made everything.

“I love you, I worship you, I praise your name and glory. Be with me all my days. Protect us, oh Great One, from our enemies inside and outside.”

 

He sat cross-legged on the earth. The warriors were around. Rapture came to him. Tears of joy came to him. Tears of joy rose from the bliss inside. Like a sun came the Great One, like the sun of suns, splitting his heart in two, tearing him in pieces until the bliss was so great that the universe broke open and he dropped, a shining pearl, a brilliant diamond, dropped into the nothing that exists beneath all that is.

 

He heard no more until the sun was high.

 

The Shaman Known as Grandfather

 

Ringbinder theme by Themocracy