Friday, November 30, 2012

a Woman's Song

Evelyn & Ashley together

¸.·´¸.·´¨) ¸.·*..
(♥ ¸.·´ (¸.♥ ·´ .¸.·♥The Kickass Woman's Manifesto..

I’ve gone thru hell and kept walking. I know my weaknesses.

It took me a long time to believe that. I’ve worked thru my “unworthiness”.

And no one needs to convince me of that anymore. I’ve dropped the illusion of not enough.

I have imperfections but that doesn’t make me IMperfect. I am PERFECT as I am.

I thought I was lost and alone, but now I realize that I was always with me.

~ Telma Regina Garcia

from Telma Regina Garcia's gallery

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


A alma que pode falar através dos olhos, também podem beijar com um olhar"
" The soul that can speak through the eyes, can also kiss with a gaze  "
Gustavo II Adolfo da Suécia
from the gallery of Telma Regina Carter

Unbelievable! The Lioness became the Woman who bore the boy who became the Man who hunted the Lion! - Gregory E. Woods

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

elise neal, actress


"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

Monday, November 26, 2012

No Moccasins

"My friends and relatives," he began, "thank you for coming into our lodge. I have been honoured to share this lodge with my wife for nearly fifty winters. In that time we were given a fine son and a fine daughter and many grandchildren. Our people saw difficulty as well as good. We took to the path of war now and then and good men were hurt or died. We are feared and respected by our enemies. The number of our lodges and villages has grown in that time. We are a strong people; our ways are good. I am thankful to the Great Mystery for bringing me into this world as a Lakota! I have lived a good life and I am ready for the next. Before I leave I have a story to tell, and I ask that after the sun comes up tomorrow you tell this same story to all the people gathered here. This is why I have asked you to come today. Here is what I want you to know.

"When I was a young man I traveled south from my mother and father's village to hunt. I came to a village that was encamped for the summer just north of the Running Water River. There was great feasting and a dance at that time, for there had been a fight and a great victory over enemies to the south. I was invited to join the celebration. It was a good time. There was much food and we danced far into the night. I awoke the next morning beside the trail to the water and looked into the largest and most wonderful eyes I had ever seen. A young woman was gazing down at me. She said, 'It is funny what suddenly grows beside this trail.' I jumped to my feet and followed her to the water and carried the water skins back to the village for her. That was the best chore I have ever done in my life.

"The next evening I stood in line outside the lodge of this young woman, with all the other young men who had come to court her. Her name was Carries the Fire and she did put the fire in my heart. I was very surprised when she asked me to come again the next evening. You will not be surprised when I tell you I remained in her village until the autumn hunts. By then, for reasons I still cannot understand but for which I am grateful, she had decided that I might be a good husband. So I went back north to tell my family so they could prepare the gifts to her family for the bride price.

"We were married the following spring. In between was the longest winter of my life. So I left my family and became a part of her village, as is a custom among us. Not long after that, enemies came among us from the south on a revenge raid for the defeat they had suffered before. They killed a man and took two young women. A war party went south on their trail. I went along.

"We trailed them for half a moon, it seemed, going far into country I had never seen. We traveled fast and caught up with them as they rejoined their village. We hid and watched. We saw where they had put the two young women. Later we saw where their night sentinels were and made a plan.

"There were six of us. That night two of us would set a fire to the east of the village, and two of us would do the same to the west. While the men of the village were busy putting out the fires, two of us would sneak in and take back our young women. The plan worked, except for one thing: I was one of the two who sneaked into the village, and I was captured.

"By dawn all of our war party had escaped back to the north with the two young women, and I was glad to pay the price of a good raid. As you might think, my captors were very angry. They made me a slave. All my clothing was taken from me - everything. I was lead around naked; everyone laughed. I was made to work. I pulled drag poles like a dog until my hands and knees were bleeding. They teased me; they threw dirt in my face. Women pulled up their dresses in front of me and laughed, showing me that I was no longer a man. They gave me no food so I had to fight with the dogs for scraps. At night they bound me hand and foot and stretched me between two stout poles. There was no way to escape. I began to feel lower than a dung beetle.

"I lost count of the days, but I looked for ways to escape. But lack of food and water made me very weak, and I knew that before I was too weak I had to escape. After a time they stopped putting a guard to sit and watch me at night. Night after night I pulled at the poles which held me, and little by little I loosened them. But someone saw what I had done and pounded the poles in deeper. I was discouraged.

"I am not ashamed to tell you that one night I prayed to the Great Mystery to give me a quick death. I could not escape; I was too weak.

"One night it was cold and rainy, and I was naked and shivering. There was no one about; it was too cold. Even the dogs curled up out of the rain. My heart was sad as I thought about my young wife and that I would never, ever see her again. I thought about her so much that her face appeared to me. After a moment, I realized that it was real; she was there! While I lay there in disbelief she cut my bonds with her knife, pulled me to my feet, and guided me out of the enemy's village.

"I was weak from hunger and my mind was not clear. But I know we walked through the night and by dawn we arrived at a hiding place she had prepared. The rain had fallen through the night and washed out our tracks. She could not have found a better time to come.

"She had hidden food and weapons. As my mind cleared I saw that she was wearing men's clothes - mine - to disguise herself for the journey. We hid, and we ate and rested. She told me that the other men had returned home with the news that I had been killed. She grieved for a time, she said, but she found herself not believing I was really dead. One night she made preparations and left the camp. The others had told her where the enemy camp was located. She knew where to look. After many days of hiding and watching she came into the camp on that rainy night.

"Though our tracks were washed out by the rain, the enemy knew we had to travel north to come home. So they sent out a war party.

"After a few days of resting and hiding we were eager to start home. We knew to be cautious, of course, and we looked often at our back trail. This is how we saw others heading in the same direction; six of them moving fast. I knew they had to be from the village where I had been a captive and that those six men were the best of their warriors. I had escaped when they were certain I could not. They could not know that I had help. Because my escape was an insult they could not let pass, they sent out their best trackers, their fiercest warriors.

"We covered our trail as best we could but it did not matter. They were running and I could not. Carries the Fire and I decided that we should hide so that we would not leave a trail they could find. But they had to be thrown off somehow. I thought about that but I could do nothing, so I did not speak that thought to her. But she had thought the same.

"We made a good hiding place in an old bear's den. That afternoon while I slept she slipped away. She returned that evening, wet and barefoot. She had placed her moccasins near a creek to lay a false trail for our pursuers. Later she told me that when they nearly spotted her, she hid in a beaver's lodge. She had to go into the creek and come up inside the beaver's house. I teased her, saying that she should have a new name - No Moccasins.

"After two days we left our hiding place and struck out west and traveled in that direction for three days, then north. I began to call her No Moccasins because it was a name of honour for what she had done. That is why my wife is called No Moccasins. Though I grew stronger each day it was not an easy journey home. We had to watch for enemies, find food, and a shelter each night. But it was her quiet courage, more than anything, that was our greatest strength.

"The people were surprised to see us. They believed that I had been killed and that my wife had gone off and killed herself. That is not unknown. My wife did not want me to tell our story and would only let me say that I had escaped from my captors. The people honoured me for that, but it was not my victory.

"I have asked you old ones to our lodge to witness for me. It is time to repay the great debt I owe my wife. Throughout my life I was fortunate as a warrior and somehow I was able to win some honours and gain a reputation. Yet all those honours are not mine because I could not have achieved them if my wife had not risked her life. I have not heard of any man in my lifetime who has done a braver deed. She traveled alone into enemy country and sneaked into an enemy's village. Few men can say they have done that.

"Because of her deed I took to the warpath each time with one thought in mind: to be worthy of my wife. For my life long I have tried to be worthy, but I am afraid I am not. So I must give all these honours to the one who truly deserves them. I give them to my wife. I ask that my warrior weapons and my eagle-feather staff be moved from the man's place in our lodge to the woman's place, where they rightfully should be.

"I will leave this world soon and I ask that another thing be done. I ask that my burial scaffold hold only my body wrapped in my burial robe. I will leave this world as the man I was before I met my wife; poor and unadorned. All that I appeared to be would not have been if not for this woman."

Three Horns sighed deeply and settled back. No Moccasins silently wiped away her tears and pulled a robe up over her husband.

"I have known good people in my life," Three Horns continued. "Many were wise, honourable, generous, and brave. But none, except this old woman who sits beside me as always, had the one strength that gives true meaning to all others - humility.

"She did a brave thing, and no one - not the strongest warrior among us - has yet to do the same. Yet she cared not if anyone ever knew. It is time that everyone knows. Thus I have spoken."

The old ones who gathered with Three Horns gave their word to tell the story of No Moccasins' courage and humility. Through the days and nights that followed, young and old alike crowded around the campfires to listen to those old ones. Before long No Moccasins' name rose with the smoke from many campfires.

Days later Three Horns died in the arms of his beloved No Moccasins. Though her loss was great she comforted others. As he wished, Three Horns' burial scaffold was unadorned. Those who mourned for him also honoured his widow.

No Moccasins died in her seventieth winter. On her burial scaffold were hung her husband's shield, his weapons, and the eagle-feather staff. On the ground below were piled hundreds of moccasins so she would not have to journey to the other side in bare feet.

Joseph M. Marshall III
"The Lakota Way" - 2001

Good Morning

Sunday, November 25, 2012


"The Drum is a walk, a path, a journey, and a relationship with elements, the movements within the worlds seen, and unseen, known and unknown. The Teacher guides into the depth, the layers of the present moment. The Drummer takes us into the wombs we come from and into the spaces reserved, traditionally, for shaman, mystics, magical beings, and children. May everyone come open of mind and spirit." - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of the Drum (august 25, 2010)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

WARN A BRUTHA? ah, hell to the naw!

I despised the T-shirt when it first came out. It was funny. It is still funny, but I am a citizen. I was a man who staked no claim, saw no value in protecting Black criminals from the consequences of their crimes. Warn a brother? Not me. The ones I caught who resisted I hurt, and turned them in or arrested them when I had the authority to do that.

I tell the boys and men I work with who work on the other side of the law not to break the law in my presence because I will tell. When asked why, and they always ask why like it is a surprise or just an incredulous thing to say; I ask them what value do they bring to the market place and to the community? - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 11.16.12

For the love of the people.


Nikki Lee

Dolly Assinewe by Bruno Henry Photography
on Feb. 10, 2009

Friday, November 23, 2012


Joke for ya'.

A guy traveling through Browning Montana, stopped at the Warbonnet, (this was several years ago obviously). He stood at the end of the bar, ordered a drink, and lit up a cigar. As he sipped his drink, he stood there quietly blowing smoke rings. After he blew nine or ten smoke rings into the air, an angry Blackfeet stomped up to him and said, "One more remark like that and I'll smash your face in!"


Warrior Woman
Warrior Man
The two primary forces of our natures don't clash or war. They find ways to copulate in a suggestive way that initiates the soul and spirit, and later invites the future into families. - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 

Thursday, November 22, 2012




"Just like in my childhood and now on the internet the presence of dark skinned women is seldom seen. It is a shock because it is so seldom celebrated! Times have little changed the hearts..."
- Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories
August 21, 2012

Art of Contemplation

Sugar & Spikes model Steph
The depth of Mystery goes far in many directions. Towards the south is one look into the divine. The other directions have their sense of Being touching what is sometimes eerily expressed in body art on the most striking of women. The secret and initiatory societies and Medicine Lodges so essential to the life of tribes around the globe are now small in number. The need for them is alive and aware of us today. It, the need, is an appetite that got creative and developed it's own rituals, and gave us tattoo artists who studied the world traditions, mastered them, and learned to minister to clients, and the best artists open themselves to usher in the higher energies from one plane to another. It is a beautiful dance missed in judgement, and grasped in contemplation. - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 8/15/12

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



"It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created in years or even generations." - Kahlil Gibran
Sunset Martini


This lovely story is told by the Wintu Tribal Elders of California

In Our Society, women were given a revered place, whether it was moontime
or choosing of mates and important decisions were taken by women of the
Grandmother’s council even with regards to battles and treaties.

When it comes time for the female Eagle to choose her mate,
she prepares herself for many suitors. And many come before her.
She looks them over quite well and then picks one to fly with for a while.
If she likes the way he flies she finds a small stick, picks it up
and flies high with it. At some point she will drop the stick to see if the male can catch it. If he does, then she finds a larger stick and flies with it much higher this time. Each time the male catches the sticks, she continues to pick up larger and larger sticks. When she finds the largest, heaviest stick that she herself can carry,

the stick is at this point almost the size of a small log! But she
can still fly very high with this large stick.
At any time in this process, if the male fails to catch the stick,
she flies away from him as her signal that the test is now over.
She begins her search all over again.
And when she again finds a male she is interested in,
she starts testing him in the exact same way.
And she will continue this "testing" until she finds
the male Eagle who can catch all the sticks.
And when she does, she chooses him, and will mate with him for life.

One of the reasons for this test is that at some
point they will build a nest together high up and
will then have their Eaglettes.
When the babies begin to learn to fly,
they sometimes fall instead. It is then
that the male must catch his young.
And he does! The female Eagle and their Eaglettes have
depended on him to be strong for them. Just as
we Native women and children need to depend upon our Native men.
So what I would like to offer to you my friends is this.
Sisters, how well do you "test" your suitors before you allow
them into your life? And my Brothers, how well have you
caught the "sticks" for your women and your children? – Dollie Assinewe

lovers by nancy ferguson

I didn't know this about the Eagle People. I understand it deeply in my bones. Sadly, the way I, as a man, employed my 'tools' one of the best connections to my soul couldn't 'catch one of the logs.' It broke my heart, if you follow the path of my words. I learned some dark things about myself and the host of women from whom I sought a mate in this Eagle's process. It is not the practice of the weak of heart, the shallow or pretentious. I hesitate to share all I learned online, but this short story you've shared is a part of me, and I will share it in sacred circles. - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TRIVIA: bony image

Her Royal Thigh-less: The Duchess of Cambridge shows super slender form on a royal visit
Her Royal Thigh-less: The Duchess of Cambridge shows super slender form on a royal visit

Years ago – before aerobics, spinning or the Dukan diet - there was something called a ‘well-turned ankle’.
These days we have the Twiglet leg — or Twigleg – which is a leg that is slightly shiny, with a Marmite-ish glow, and thin, thin, thin.
It is usually to be spotted sashaying down the red carpet, displaying less meat than you’d find clinging to a butcher’s pencil.


Knees must: Angelina Jolie knobbles the competition at a movie industry party in this slip of a dress
Knees must: Angelina Jolie knobbles the competition at a movie industry party in this slip of a dress

Peep show: Melanie Griffiths' split skirt displays her super thin thighs as she leaves a car park in Beverly Hills
Melanie Griffiths
Red alert: Gwyneth Paltrow draws attention to her slender legs with some statement shoes
Gwyneth Paltrow 
Demi skimmed: You can see every bone in the movie star's knees as she heads for home after a night out in LA
Demi Moore



"AHO! The challenge to deepen manhood and masculinity is obvious, and to many men frightening. Too much challenge to the inner man of men breaks the fragility of their worth, and egos shimmer with the attention diverted their way by words such as these.Words are powerful things in the mouth of women's pain revolving around, and evolving from the afflictions administered by broken, and uninitiated men's lives!

The healing aspect of discovering the source of one's pain, and fears rests squarely in the ability of the weakened, and broken souls to speak their first words as they point fingers at the oppressor, and say "He did this!"

The women I know who know this story are of the African Woman's Circles that took me in many years ago. It was terrifying, and exciting, stimulating, sensual, and full of surprise, defeat, insult, and their ability to conjurer up my fears, and my shit challenged every fiber of my being. It was part of my long initiations that began at the age of 12..". - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories august 21, 2012

from Pure Wombman. Holistic & Organic

Modesty is a reflex, arising naturally to help a woman protect her hopes and guide their fulfillment -specifically, this hope for one man. Along with this hope comes a certain vulnerability, because every time a man fails to stick by us, our hopes are, in a sense, dashed. This is where modesty fits in. For modesty armed this special vulnerability -not to oppress women, but with the aim of putting them on an equal footing with men. The delay modesty created not only made it more likely that women could select men who would stick by them, but in turning lust into love, it changed men from uncivilized males who ran after as many sexual partners as they can get to men who really wanted to stick by one woman.” ― Wendy Shalit, A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue

PIN UP TRADITION: ol' hot rod

Rozlynn Wiegmann
Help me pick tomorrows Finds:

Varga Photography 

Monday, November 19, 2012


"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." anon

There is that standard of harshness that finds the deepest satisfaction in crushing children's spirits. It lives in the administrators of many school and church systems, and coarseness, rigidity, and coldness is a prerequisite for their positions. Parents have seen this for decades, and now long past the reverence once held for doctors and educators parents themselves educated, and thoughtful are faced with their children's ability to force change into their lives. Not dark administrators. Change and fluidity are abhorrent elements to them, and at any chance given they will crush a child who dreams and has powers.What do you do about this? What do we do about this?

I suggest we find our collective and individual voices, develop them, and learn to listen to the high frequency vibrations young people have to understand what children need in their lifetime for starters!- Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories August 21, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Apache Sunrise Ceremony: Na’ii’ees & Drummers

Apache Sunrise Ceremony - Na’ii’ees initiates & drummers


No. 5

Sonny Osborne, you spoke a deep disappointment into cyberspace. Often parents, unable to give birth to Life, to who they are, pass that inability to their children; not out of spite, but out of disappointment in themselves; their own lot in life. Somehow over time many of the touchstones in Life are not there to teach us but to stump us. Over time, and your words said it, we forget why we are born, or we remember and have no way to escape from the grind, the Rat Race to achieve those goals, those dreams of our lives. It feels and looks like a deep chasm exists between who we are and what we have to do for a living.

I've described it well, but it is nothing you don't know about. There are two approaches. One comes from the language of acquisition, the other from the language of attraction, of spiritual practice.

Robert Valett (I don’t remember who he is, but I’ve kept notes from him over the years) left practical steps, or stones to follow.

  1. Identify the major problem
  2. Obtain important information
  3. Determine your goals & objectives
  4. Ask key questions
  5. Search for possible answers
  6. Study model solutions
  7. Consider possible consequences
  8. Organize the best plan of action
  9. Rehearse your actions & practice hard
  10. Rehearse your actions & practice hard
  11. Evaluate the results
  12. Correct your mistakes
  13. Record your progress
  14. Recognize your achievements

And I submit a reading and application of Steven Covey’s book, 7  HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE.

The other side of the “coin” starts with the words of Alan Ashley-Pitt. Now, I can’t remember who is either, but I embedded this quote deep within me.

“The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has been before. Creativity in living is not without its attendant difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. And the unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right, they’ll say it was obvious all along.

You have two choices in life: you can dissolve into the mainstream, or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no one else but you can be.”

That changed my thinking. From the esoteric to the practical applications of acquisition is a challenge a successful Black sales pro told me. George Wheeler said, “Greg, take a millionaire to dinner. It doesn’t matter if it’s lunch, breakfast, or dinner take him, at your expense, to dinner, and ask him questions.”

I looked at him incredulously. He continued not batting an eye.

“Einstein said, ‘When a Man of Knowledge and a Man of Substance come together it is an equal exchange.’

That blew my mind. I did it, and both of our lives were never the same.

Now there are fasts, spiritual baths, digestive cleanings, the development of Shields (as a Warrior-Priest), breathing techniques and such that will develop a person in the skill set applicable to the Laws of Attraction, which on the surface appear to be no more than wishing, but in actual fact and practice, are a spiritual discipline. The emphasis is on the discipline.

This is my gift to you. AHO!  
© Gregory E. Woods, 
Keeper of Stories

Na’ii’ees Ceremony

Apache Sunrise Ceremony - Na’ii’ees

Apache Sunrise Ceremony

Called the “Na’ii’ees”, the Apache Sunrise Ceremony is a four-day communal celebration that marks the first menstruation of an Apache woman. It consists of numerous sacred rituals, dances, songs, and enactments during which the girl becomes a living representation of White Painted Woman, the first woman in the world and the mother of the Apache people (Yupanqui 1999).

The purposes of the Sunrise ceremony are numerous. First, a young woman undergoing the ceremony achieves a deep connection to her spiritual heritage. She identifies with White Painted Woman and the symbol of divine womanhood that she represents. Second, it marks the transition from childhood to adulthood, allowing the young woman to celebrate her new status in a communal setting. Third, it helps her embrace her role as an Apache woman, encouraging her to be hard working, selfless, and composed. According to Tika Yupanqui, the young woman’s “temperament during the ceremony is believed to be the primary indicator of her temperament throughout her future life“. Finally, the Sunrise ceremony helps unify the community by bring friends and families together (Yupanqui 1999).

The hosting of a Sunrise ceremony can sometimes require up to six months of preparation. The young woman undergoing the ceremonial ordeal must be trained, her buckskin dress must be sewed, a medicine man must be chosen, food must be prepared, and a hundred other large and small tasks must be completed simply for the Sunrise ceremony to begin (Yupanqui 1999).

Because of the physical element of the ceremony--the girl dances and runs extensively--rigorous physical training is often a large part of the preparation for a Sunrise ceremony. During the week before the ceremonial, the girl’s family honors her godparent’s by serving them a special meal. Then, four nights of nights of singing and prayers lead up to the main ceremonial (Yupanqui 1999).

The actual ceremony is just as complex as the preparation, if not more so. It traditionally takes place the summer after a girl’s first menstrual cycle. Families usually pray that the weather will be pleasant for the ceremony, but if it is not--if, for instance, the creator god Usen decides to give them rain--then the Sunrise Ceremony simply becomes a sacred test of the girl's faith and endurance (Leffanta 1999). The Sunrise Ceremony consists of several smaller rituals, the more significant of which include the Dressing Ceremony, the Sunrise Dance, the Massaging, the Crown Dance, and the Painting Ceremony.

On the day before the ceremony, the men who will be involved take a sweat bath to purify themselves (Goseyun 1990). Then the medicine man and his assistants prepare some of the ritual items that will be used during the ceremony, such as a scratching stick, drinking tube, an abalone shell pendant, a downy eagle feather, a fringed buckskin serape, and a large buckskin. A special meal is cooked and served to the girl’s godmother. Sometimes the Dressing Ceremony occurs on this day; at other times it takes place the next day (Goseyun 1990).

Before sundown on the day of the ceremony, the girl’s godparents come dancing into the camp and dress her in her traditional--and highly symbolic--clothing. Before the dressing ceremony begins, the medicine man will make a speech, urging people to be prayerful for the duration of the ceremony and reminding them that they are all brothers and sisters. He tells the girl that she because she is embodying White Painted Woman during this time, she will have access to White Painted Woman’s special healing powers. He admonishes her to fast and drink only water (Goseyun 1990).

Then the dressing ceremony begins. The young woman is led to the middle of a ground-covering where feathers, drums, buckskins, scarves, beads, shells and sacred yellow pollen have all been carefully laid out. The last thing to be put on her is the eagle feather. After the Dressing Ceremony, the medicine man and his singers sing thirty two songs (Goseyun 1990).

The next day, the young woman is woken up before sunrise by one of the medicine man’s assistants and is led out to the dance grounds. There, she prepares the blankets she will dance and be massaged upon. That morning, she dances for six hours total, a test of physical as well as spiritual endurance. Later, the young woman kneels down on her blanket and sways back and forth to the sound of the medicine man and his assistants singing (Goseyun 1990).

Finally, she is bid to lay down on the blanket, and she is massaged by her godmother (Goseyun 1990). Her legs, back, and shoulders are massaged to mold her into a strong, beautiful woman (Yupanqui 1999).

After the Sunrise Dance, two men cut down trees that will be used to build the girl’s prayer tipi. That evening, dinner is served to everyone and there are gift exchanges. Then, the Crown Dancers--who are always men--perform. They are considered to be spiritual beings, not men in costumes, and the assembled people bless them with sacred yellow pollen. Thirty-two Crown Dance songs are sung that night, and the girl dances with the Crown Dancers in her tipi all night (Goseyun 1990).

The girl is permitted to sleep for a little while, and then the following morning she is again drawn to her blanket, where she begins grinding the corn for her Painting Ceremony. Then she dances for several hours more and is painted from head to foot with corn, pollen, and sometimes clay (Goseyun 1990).

After the Painting Ceremony, the Crown Dancers perform once again, are thanked, and dismissed. The girl is allowed to rest for the remainder of the day. The next day final prayers are said. The girl is undressed by her godmother, more songs are sung, and the Sunrise Ceremony ends (Goseyun 1990).

As mentioned previously, during the Sunrise Ceremony the young woman is considered to be the living embodiment of White Painted Woman. While performing the actual rituals in the ceremony, her powers are used for herself. However, between rituals and when the ceremony is over, individuals will often approach the young woman to receive the benefit of her blessing, which has the power to heal. When being healed by the young woman, the patient kneels or stands across from her. She lifts her arms--palms upward--four times without ever actually touching the patient (Harvard College 1998).

Associated with the powers of White Painted Woman are taboos that the young woman must follow. She cannot drink except with a straw, because the cup she drinks from may cause her to grow whiskers about her mouth. She is not allowed to bathe, because that would wash away some of the power. If she has an itch, she must scratch it only with a scratching stick, for otherwise she will develop sores that could potentially cause ugly scars to form (Harvard College 1998).

According to Tika Yupanqui, “In the early 1900s, when the U.S. government banned Native American spiritual practices and rituals, conducting the Sunrise Ceremony was an illegal act; as a result, its practice diminished, and those ceremonies that did occur were conducted secretly” (Yupanqui 1999). It wasn’t until 1978 that the Sunrise Ceremony was openly re-established on most reservations under the protection of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. As a result, the practice of the Sunrise Ceremony has died out somewhat over the last century (Yupanqui 1999).

Traditionally, every single Apache woman would have undergone a Sunrise Ceremony to celebrate her entrance into womanhood. However, this is no longer the case. Today, it is often too expensive to have a Sunrise Ceremony, and even when families can afford it, they do not always want to adhere to the traditional ways of their ancestors (Yupanqui 1999).

Because of the great amounts of time and expenses involved with the hosting of a Sunrise Ceremony, many young women celebrate their initiation into womanhood today in a shortened, one to two day ceremony. Also, while a single young woman would once have been the only focus of a Sunrise Ceremony, today ceremonies are occasionally sponsored by more than one family and celebrate the menstruation of multiple young girls at once (Yupanqui 1999).


dawn of the Earth

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

Friday, November 16, 2012


American Apparel’s new model Jacky has endless legs, killer cheekbones and grey hair…


 In a thoughtful turnaround for the provocative fashion outlet, American Apparel now introduces Jacky as one of its ambassadors.

To date American Apparel have what many would argue a contentious and perhaps crude reputation in the way the outlet chooses to portray itself. It’s history is resplendid with many instances of using what appear to underage girls, topless shots or just all out gratuitous photos that perhaps seek to shock and provoke as oppose to inform,then again perhaps that is the guise of fashion advertising.
Which brings us to American Apparel’s newest concubine, simply known as Jacky. Discovered walking down the street in NYC, Jacky who works in a law firm and is said to have once aspired to be an actress cuts a svelte and beguiling presence as well as an easy reassuring countenance.
Used by the line for its simply titled Advanced Basics line the model is heavy on ethereal and very light on what could be perceived to be tasteless poses. Although the picture of Jacky above wearing a two colored leotard with purple tights and a baggy grey sweater  could perhaps be judged to be  ‘crude,’ one is compelled to wonder if she were half her age would most of us even blink and instead find the picture ‘sexy’ instead?
Either way, it seems American Apparel have a winner on their hands with their new Advanced Basics line and personally this author can’t wait to see her start modeling for other lines.

BETSY SMITH, a model

Betsy Smith
Betsy Smith ad


It was a Powerful direction, and HE thought about where to place it, for HE did not want it to be easy for humans to find. So HE called a great Gathering of all the Animals and asked them where to place HUMAN SPIRIT, and Buffalo said to HIM, "Give it to me, and I will bury it under the grasses of the Great Plains, where it will never be found."

But Creator, who could see all times, looked, and was saddened. "I am sorry, Buffalo, but a time will come when Man will build on the Plains, and dig it up and he would find HUMAN SPIRIT there."

Then Bear spoke, "Creator, give it to me, and I will bury it so far under the Black Hills that it will never be found!” Creator looked into the future, and was saddened, "Bear, I see a time to come where man will find a yellow metal that will make him foolish, he will price it above the directions, He will uncover the bones of the earth, dig deep into the Black Hills and would find HUMAN SPIRIT if it were hidden there"

So Eagle spoke, "Creator, You have made me the most powerful of your children, give HUMAN SPIRIT to me and I will fly it high into the sky, I will take it and bury it on the surface of MOON where it will never be found"

Creator again looked into the future, and was saddened. "Eagle, I have looked and I have seen there will come a time when Man will reach MOON, and I see footprints there and he would find HUMAN SPIRIT if you bury it there."

Thru all the discussion, Mole had been trying to catch Creator's attention. Though all knew mole did not see well, he had great inner vision in its place, and was able to see inside many things. Finally Mole was able to reach Creator and spoke to Him: "Creator, I know where to place HUMAN SPIRIT where it will never be easily found" and Creator smiled and asked Mole where that might be, and Mole answered: "I would place HUMAN SPIRIT deep within the human heart, for unless one truly looks deeply within himself, it will never be found" and Creator was pleased with this, and placed HUMAN SPIRIT deep within man.  That unless man looks deep within himself, he will never find this most important, this most powerful direction, and there it remains to this day.  AHO! 

Shared by Brother_to_Horse 

Body Perfection: Mereana Taki

Mereana Taki on April 8, 2012 - Cover # 82

Body perfection lies more in what a body of works has accomplished. It is a deliberate misleading choice of words. Body perfection requirements break all similarities between a woman and a man's usage of the body during the loss of virginity, and the first birth. The two stand on opposite sides of a phenomenon in wonder, if they are not jaded, and blurred of vision by then. But in an ideal context body perfection isn't perfection at all. It is close to the evaluation of divine sources as a source of divinity itself within a body.  A mother's body produces awe in the beginning, and in the journey to the end of Life the beauty of her body is the reflection of her relationship with several worlds beginning with how she loves herself, the baby and the man who gave her the seed. Such complexity exists within the simple beauty of an older woman's body. Judged harshly few get to see the ever unfolding revelations of beautiful subtle shifts. The breasts, the stomach, the arms, thighs, the face; the lot of them together with their attendant voices clamor for affection. They long to be held, and held together the reciprocation is overwhelming as the years progress.

I sense and see these things within you Mereana, and many other women who are powerful or not in relationship with their powers of Being. The goal of an aging body is not perfection it is wholeness. It is why an older woman is so deeply sensual, and desirable. The roundness is the medicinal story of redemption, reproduction and resurrection. It isn't leanness and muscles, and toned abs. The allure of a body of works, of strong growth, and memories of sustaining energies is the perfection of bodies women have in their older years that is so sexy, so powerful, so full of meaning, and tease. .~ Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 8.20.12

Oloyede Oyebanjo


Sacred Dance

"It is not up to the divine feminine to inspire the divine masculine, or vice versa. We are all responsible for our own male/female divinity within, and then it will be reflected outside of ourselves. Have the courage to do your inner work, balancing your two aspects. The less duality within, the more Oneness you will see in your world." 

~ Sidonie Bouchet

Thursday, November 15, 2012



The Lakota were brave sharing their rituals, and traditions with tribes who had lost their way, and lost their traditions because of the white man's pen, his gun, and the missionaries. Lakota people have been studied, measured, and quoted more than any other nation, but remain invisible. How? How could that be?

About 10% of the nation practices their traditions; I was told when I last visited Pine Ridge. 10%, and violent LA gangs are doing business on the rez. The poverty is staggering, and every winter is guaranteed freezing cold weather with limited food and fuel to sustain people through the season. Suicides and rapes are up, and just outside of the reservation is a liquor store legally selling alcohol to Lakota men and women. The land is beautiful, breathtaking and full of the glory days, and the old battles, but the People suffer deeply, and are poor; the poorest in the nation I am told every year.

People need their healing. The Red prophecies are true. The grandchildren of those who killed us have come to our lodges, and ceremonies for healing, but practical spirituality is in the building of sustainable economies also. – Gregory E. Woods (Alowan Chanteh Inyan Wichasha) 11.13.12

mysterious aspect of an Indian woman robed in snow
by Madeline Bernadette Scott