from Carol Proudfoot-Edgar
What the Ancestors Spoke to Me
Notes from the Silence the Desert Speaks
Oracle Creation Story
On the road to Oracle
What the Ancestors Spoke to Me
During the Long Night of Earth Renewing
As I was aware of being LameBearWoman
Walking the stars and praying for her Kin
as they circled the fire.
"Keep painting the Dream
For so many are lost in the night-mares..
Keep painting the dream in sand, song, and circle
Keep painting the dream
How it looks from time to time may change don't worry about that
Just keep Painting the Dream for
It carries a melody that's a song trail
for the return of your souls to Creator, to Light, to Love, and to Joy"
I keep hearing those words and know that for me, Dream Painting is one way to be a Walking Prayer Tree.
Painting the Dream means calling to all of us to sculpt some image from our soul, use colors of this beautiful Earth, play some music, write however many words wish to flow through us, mix your hands with Earth's soil and surface the pictures so primal from DreamTime......splash the horizon with colors from the Dream.....
Remember the Ancestors' Whispering from the Long Night "Keep Painting the Dream." I understand so profoundly now, that this is really necessary or otherwise, quite simply, the world is a nightmare for so many people; and hope is lost because the Dream that birthed us into a legacy of beauty, of joy, of love is lost to our vision.
May we keep Painting the Dream that's seeking to be heard, seen, touched, and known..for however long this is needed.
Notes from the Silence the Desert Speaks
These are lines I jotted in my journal as I wandered the desert in Silence after the all night of renewing the world, sometimes napping in the desert only to be awakened by some sound nearby, only to find it was the sound of my own Dreaming waking me. Just as I did not try to make sense of my experiences in the Silence, so I shall not interpret my notes but write them as they are from my yellow pad.
The day after the Long Night of Earth Renewing brought a late afternoon of brief showers while our Desert Clan was meeting..Showers fall briefly and every single being and molecule of the desert lifts faces, hands, roots in joy. Being of the Desert Clan I am washed in reverence and astonishmenthow perfect in timing is this rain. We were privileged to have a clear night, a warm night followed to today's rain.the Desert feels like it is in the drying time, needs the rain so much. I have never drank so much water in such a short while as I have drank here. Someimes I think I'm drinking for the Desert too!..
Something magical about this rain..something magical about this whole time here. I think I am feeling the presence of Coyote and Miracle-Maker..
So you did the Long Night of Earth Renewing, so says RainMaker Now feel the joy and renewing I bring too.
How could anyone ask for any more I wonder to myself. I smile broadly thinking how Weather-Maker graced us Through wind, heat, wind, heat, rain, and warmth And on this last morning, while clouds veiled the Sun Sun and Clouds seemed to be saying your work here is almost, almost done
Wrapped in the Blanket of Silence images from the Long Night follow me everywhere-like the Ancestors and Spirit, close as my own breath
Being LameBearWoman: last night I drummed until lameness brought me to ground and from the sand did I sing, travel the stars, give thanks for my kin. And through ancient eyes moved in Dreamtime with dancers, drummers, and fire tenders. . Seeing Hideki, my brother and my friend from Japan, he seems as someone thousands years old, tending the fire of the Circle with enduring humilityjust as when I first met him at Esalen, I can see his bones glowing and remembering ah yes, he comes from the Ainu, so say his bones, and just as Great Mother Bear turns the Sky, so have the Ainu joined her in turning the wheel of this world, turning with Bear
Coals for the fire: coals from the ancient fire brought by my sister Pirkko, join with our coals and spark with our fire tended by ancient bones in a young man's bodya young man who is thousands of years old. Hidedi is from the Sunso say the Ainu toonow he is tending the Sun within the Earthkeeping it going through the long night.
In the Silence the Tree Emerging from Turtle says it is time to Tend me, Time to bring together all the fragmented pieces and the holy fires Within each of us plant our prayers of commitment within Earth Come Home, come Home, Come home. Tonight we Come Home.and Tree, Turtle, Snake, and the whole world can almost smell the moisture evaporating from our bodies and in their sensing, they smell the People coming home.
Oracle Creation Story
(And Mysteries round Turtle, Tree, Crystals)
The afternoon of the second day
Of raking and sculpting sand
And placing the box with the Tree
in the Center of the Earth SandPainting,
I sat at the base of the Tree
Resting in the small shade it cast.
All was placed as we had seen in our journeys
While Crystal Ball was humming and vibrating.
As I lay my head down in the sand....
Everything seemed to be shimmering
I felt Light-headed and wondered if I was dehydrated
So I sank lower into the sand, closed my eyes to relax
And suddenly I was Below Tree
And way down below, Turtle was trying to surface
"What are you Doing Here" I inquired?
"We didn't see you in our journeys."
Then visions and ages appeared in Turtle's eyes and I saw...I saw..
Immediately I stood up and announced that we needed to help Turtle emerge
And the way to do this was to sculpt Turtle's form from the sand
Then Turtle could float upwards into that shape
And take Turtle's rightful place in the Center of Earth
As the Center of the Earth
And so we sculpted......with joy, with joy...
Next morning I walked down to the SandPainting
To discover that sometime early, early morning
(or in the dark of the night?), Laurie had also been working on Turtle
And except for Turtle's mouth, nearly all was complete.
While creating Turtle's mouth, I would pause momentarily
Get on my knees, peer in and down...seeing worlds waiting to be born.
Content as a child on the first day of Creation
I sat beside Turtle, singing Turtle songs and one of the Songs
Celebrates the beautiful mosaic body
How they are the Moons, the Continents and the Directional Powers
So if you get real close and study Turtle's back, you'll know all you need to know of geography and geology, of lunar cycles, and the relationship of Rivers to Sea......
But lo, we had not painted the golden outlines of the mosaics and Turtle was
missing not being complete
It took me four hours of getting just the right color--- and a few more hours to spray that paint, spray several coats; and while I was painting, Turtle kept talking...and soon I was listening to conversations among Turtle, Snake, Tree, and Crystal and how the Earth came into Being......
Later I noticed Crystal Ball was changing and green stuff was growing inside of it. I didn't believe my own eyes; surely it was some reflection of the tree? Or again, was I dehydrated? At the same time, I know this Crystal Ball and whatever was growing in there had never appeared before. Wanting verification, I called over different people who have seen this Ball in various Circles. I would just ask them to look and tell me what they saw. Every one of them saw the 'green growing' stuff although none of us knew what it is we were seeing.......is this similar to the beginnings of life within the Earth I wondered?
This is still a mystery to me: the green stuff has grown some more and I hope to find someone who can share with me. I took it to the person who gave it to me a few years ago and he was astonished by the size of the green growth.
It's almost like peering into Turtle's mouth and wondering "what's growing in there, in the belly?" I'm wondering "What's growing in the crystal ball?"
I set aside these wonderings
And return to articulating the Creation Story of Oracle
As I perceived.......
Remember, remember in the moment of seeing
Turtle below the surface
And Turtle's seeking to emerge;
In that moment, all of the planning
and conceiving that happened before Oracle disappeared
For I crossed over into Dreamtime
And could see some other form seeking to be born, to be known
And this form was a Source and a Sourcing for Oracle Village
Beneath the Tree, Crystals and Snake, beneath the SandPainting itself
The Land seemed to be heaving and breathing
Like Woman in Labor holding the potential of all living beings
Snake said, "You see part of this potential in the flowering of the Tree of Life and the small buds now appearing" and indeed,
Turtle seemed to breathe and pulsate more each day
And from Her mouth facing North-East
She blew lines of color, giving light to the darkness
That seemed to hover over the continents
Holding places we call Australia, Asia, Middle East and Africa
I found I had a hard time leaving her side as her breathing grew more labored - She was pushing those lines of color around her whole body,
Then swirling her breath around the whole sandpainting...releasing into each area or thing, motion unfolding so that the circle of life would be unbroken..
I know I became transfixed and transfigured during those days
I would linger at night when I though everyone else had gone off to bed
Except that one of those nights I heard someone say "you can' leave either?"
And in the darkness, I could tell it was Cheryl. We shared a little bout the possible influence of Sun, Moon, Stars and the Planets at this particular time.
The gleaming banners and prayers hung from the Fences wove shimmering strands of generations and it was that second night, after another day painting Turtle, that I sensed some Presence soaring from the hillside in the South...at the end of the Ramada where Gayle and others had set crystals and stones on the Earth Flag Cloth... (and this was the same place where two years ago, we planted and left our prayer sticks for the young people who wold be coming that week - for our descendants.)
I stood in quiet wonderment as some ancient memory stirred in my chest
While the Wind gently picked up and the sense of some Presence
became now some Light Being moving towards the Tree in the Center...
I'd blink my eyes yet couldn't really see any form and discovered that if I closed my eyes, I was more aware of movement of Light...Light above the hillside in the South, Light at the base of the Tree...Light moving towards Light
And just as I was starting to think 'about' the Crystal Ball and reflecting Lights, everything shifted...I was aware that my probing mind had pushed away my probing senses and I had stepped back into an ordinary, cool, light windy night in the Desert.
Yet wandering back to my cabin I knew I had seen with my senses some movements in the usually invisible spirit world
And lying quietly in bed, I prayed I be shown, if possible, what was the meaning of this night...
Rising early, down to the Ramada I went...sitting quietly beside Turtle, Tree, Snake and Crystal with the Earth stretching out around me; it was soon thereafter that I noticed the green growing in the crystal...Something definitely had started growing during the night......and suddenly I'm smiling with delight as I'm remembering the many stories of Turtle's role in creating the Earth......
Long, long ago when Water and Water only was the world
Beings from the Star Nation yearned to experience themselves in the World below...yet looking down, it was quite obvious there was no place to stand and they'd simply disappear into shadows on the face of the Deep.......
Yet looking even further to the Deep Places below the surfaces of Water, they saw One who seemed large enough to hold them and they pleaded to this being to emerge and give them a Place to Stand but they pled to no avail.. Then they sang and they sang and the sound of their Voices was like the Sounds on that first night when we called in the Spirits...a sound so beautiful that the One Below lifted Her head for the first time since Before and when She lifted they saw She could move so they pleaded some more.......and this time She looked up and saw among them one who was full of Light with a Shining World within her too. So Turtle said "I will emerge myself if you send the Woman so Beautiful who Carries within her a Shining World."
After Council discussion, for the sake of her People, this Pregnant Woman from the Star Nation said she would fly down. As she plunged from the Sky, all of the Stars held their breath and stopped singing for they were very frightened that Mother and child might not survive the plunge from the Sky.
As she is Plunging Turtle slowly starts moving and sends out great calls for help to all the Water People for Turtle, too, is afraid that Star Woman will not survive in her plunge from toe Sky. Yet there is nothing Water People can do for they have never been out of Water. A fierce scream from the Sky splits the dark night and all creatures of Water and Sky know Eagle has sounded the Great Call for Help from All Winged Ones from all Over the World. If we could only hear the sounds of that night!! There is no Power Greater and no Sound that is Louder than the Sound of Every Bird flapping, sounding, and winging through the Air. They traveled in pairs, in small and large groups. Filling the entire Sky, arriving from Everywhere, instantly they saw this Star Woman plunging to her death in the dark waters below. Their chests pounded with panic for to the Birds, only the Star People travel further than Eagle. And only Star People gave them the compass they needed for all their migrations in their seasonal rhythms. And only Star People could go to the Sun and still not be burned. So they honored, they loved, and they treasured them as the most precious of gifts from Creator, Source of the Light.
Flying swiftly through the air, they made formations so that one group used the contrails of another in order to fly more quickly. As soon as one tired, they dropped from the lead and the one who was rested immediately picked up the task of leading the rest.
Finally approaching her, they were so moved by her beauty, seeing the changes her Light body was taking that they whispered among themselves "we must make sure that her landing is soft...no scratches or bruises" and one bird replied " she's is only Light, how can we possibly scratch or bruise her?". To which Eagle replied: "She is changing shape, see her legs, they look like ours; look at her arms, they look like ours. And yet she is not a bird, she is from the Star Nation---perhaps she will know her name if we are able to save her."
Then gathering all of their powers and sorting themselves into emergency teams, they made themselves a Circle of Birds with overlapping Wings and spiraling in a Circle, they flew beneath her. They didn't rush; their soft feathers cushioned her body; they knew how to fly and how to land with no damage to body and after several days, they landed her ver softly on the hard, hard surface of Turtle's body.
She stifled a scream as the hard shell hurt her soft feet; she grimaced when she sat on the rough, rough body...her buttocks unused to anything but air. As Turtle watched carefully, and felt her body on Her shell, She peered from her place of hiding within her belly and said "I am so sorry, I thought I could help but my body's too hard for you and will be even harder for your child-this is no place for someone from the Star Nation" and with tears streaming down both of their faces, StarWoman agreed. Her tears were sorrow because she was changing and just coming to love the Birds and the few Water People she had met..
Once again the Council of Birds met but this time they invited the Wisdom Ones from the Waters Below. It was the first time the 2 groups had ever met in Council. Quickly the Birds explained the situation including the tragic realization that they could not carry her far enough so she could return to her people No one had thought about this except the Star Nation Council that had sent her.
And now the wisdom of Turtle became very evident for Turtle was Keeper of the Waters, knew all there was to know of the waters ...and had seen the whole world.
So She said, "First we must gather materials to build a place Star Woman (and others) can live on. There are many places deep in the waters where such materials can be found...we shall create Something Never Before Seen or Known Before." As they listened to Turtle's description, the Water Animals and the Birds leaned ever closer until finally Eagle, taking heart, whispered the thought upon all of their hearts:
" What will happen to you ??
From your description your back shall always be exposed to the Sun or the Night and you can never completely submerge again or else the people will die. Turtle, what about you? Can you live this way? Won't you get sad missing the Waters below? "
Turtle responded: "I do not know how I shall feel or how I shall do as I grow old? I only know that this beautiful woman took the plunge from the Star Nation. She doesn't know either what shall happen with her; but as we can see already she is changing and adapting; and now this morning she wakes up with bones. Already I am able to breathe longer with my head above Water. I just must not forget to keep myself wet
And since we are building this new thing on My back, we shall call it Turtle Island and she shall be called StarWoman until she chooses another name.
Now I want all of you to help create this for we must do it within three days."
She sent down the Deep Divers to gather up mud from below. When they would returned, they placed the mud in Turtle's mouth and then Turtle would arrange it into separate mounds. She had the Shallow Divers find reeds or vines which she then planted in the mud. She had the Big Gulpers gather all the morning mist, which made for fresh water - for they had already discovered Salt in their Waters made StarWoman ill;
She created ridges between the mounds, shored up her sides with mud and created channels to hold the fresh water so she could drink. . At Turtle's command, on the third day, Deep Divers brought up even more mud. By stretching her long neck, Turtle created an larger mound on the top of her body and here Star Woman could lie down, sleep, and gaze upon her people of the Star Nation or bask in the Sun when Light was upon the Land.
Finally Turtle asked if there was anything else StarWoman needed for Turtle now needed to rest and soak her head within her own moist body.
StarWoman looked gently at Turtle and said "No, Turtle, there is nothing more that I need except that I wish to sing to you a song from my people..it is our Song of Thanks. So while Turtle pulled her head deep into the moist belly of her body, StarWoman stood on Turtle's back, ready to sing.
She looked to her People in the Sky and she began singing. The song that emerged was one She had never heard before yet she kept singing. As the melody moved through the air, StarWoman knew she was singing goodbye to her home in the Sky. For a moment, Sorrow flooded her breast but then she felt the child moving in her belly. Taking her hands, she placed them over her the swelling place of birthing.. Looking down at Turtle's body; she felt so much gratitude and joy that NewLife in her womb would have a World upon which to Stand and to Shine.
She began singing her joy for NewLife and for TurtleIsland and this, too, was a song she had never heard before. As she was singing, she began dancing. She dance around the mounds Turtle had made; she danced in the channels of freshwater Turtle had made.. Soon all of the WaterPeople and all of the AirPeople were singing her song and they too were dancing. Her singing and dancing grew stronger and stronger; Turtle relaxed more and more/
Bu the time of the fourth day, StarWoman's color had changed. Although starlight shone from her eyes, her skin seemed the color of many mixed muds; her body was strong and firm. Then she rested for many days. Early one morning, when the Birds of First Sun of Spring came flying through the Air, looking down they squawked and they squealed and they chirped and they honked; and they caused so much commotion everyone emerged to see what was happening - even ole sleepy Turtle stuck out her head far as it would go......
Lo! There on the top mound of Turtle Island slept an obviously weary StarWoman and suckling her breasts, a boy and a girl...the very first children of Turtle Island...
Between Turtle and StarWoman was created Home, a Place where Sky meets Earth, Earth receives Sky. From that embracing a future is born. As StarWoman sings and dances on the body of Turtle, there is the Axis Mundi - there is the temporal joined with the eternal.
Some philosophers and teachers say that into each Age "one is chosen" to carry the seed which is the breath of the future.
In shamanic cultures, the core paradigm is that of co-creation - meaning all creatures are involved in co-creating the future. We are interdependent So Turtle and StarWoman, using the help of other beings, create together some New World, a new Earth.
And in the process, everyone changes, everyone is 'reborn
Thanks be to Turtle
And I came across this after arriving home:
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land
Chapter 2: vs: 11 -12.
On the road to Oracle
We had done lots of journeys in Circle here
About making the Earth map and getting clear
About the type of map we would be sculpting and building.
We were shown to create the World Before Humans Arrived
So that we might honor Earth of the Dreamtime.
The trails of our Journeys had shown us the shapes
Of First-Sand, First Waters, First Mountains, First Ice,
First Stones, the Tree of Life...all this and more was revealed.
Over the last four weeks through phone and email, Jo and I had gone
over the materials list several times and were satisfied we had
purchased and were bringing all supplies necessary.
When we left from Santa Cruz, either our Tucson Sisters
or we ourselves had avaible all we needed for creating this map at Oracle.
Across the Arizona Desert, on our way to the Dreamtime
In a small town called Gila Bend, mostly hidden from travelers,
We were found by First Snake who refused to be left behind.
In an even smaller town called Quartzsite
(Where everyone seemed to know details of the banking accounts
and the status of marriages of everyone else and willing to share with us in the hour we spent there and by the time we left, I was sure they
even knew the details of all our affairs-truly a town out of time)
the wizened face of "I-know-what-you-want-Woman," who managed the wee grocery store,
shifted into the smile of trickster as she pointed to some distant place on the road and said "that's where you'll be wanting to go"
So laughing for why-we-didn't-know, back into WolfOwl we scrambled and
Headed for that place on the road "you'll be wanting to go."
And to the utter astonishment of Mathilde, Bob and my self
We stumbled into a field of Crystal Dreams
and immediately were beamed into another world......
Bob the Disbeliever said "there's a Horse here for Mau"
but looking around, only horses one could see might be the tails of the mares in the clouds.....Mathilde wandered off into Dreamtime...
while I smelled a Dog somewhere and then sensed
some healing Crystaline Presence I'd been searching for seems like years......
But looking around couldn't see either of them anywhere either...
And I was a'thinking 'this really is the stuff of dreams'....
We all had a hard time keeping our balance
because we were literally in a Field of Crystals Dreaming
and their Dreaming was Setting Beings into Motion..
And every so often I'd have to pinch my cheek or press my thumb real hard against wood 'because I'd think
"I'm in Yankee Stadium in the dead of night
with all the Lights turned on and it's too bright to see"
.........and why Yankee stadium I don't know because I been either a Giants or Dodger Fan all my life...only the Giants now interest me but I could swear that man about ten feet away was George Steinbrenner looking at all his ballplayers beneatht he bright lights--then I really had to pinch both my cheeks........
However I found if I'd just rock on my feet a wee bit...
and then touch one of these crystals I'd be sturdier on legs so I started to rock and touch
..... I saw Horse just as Bob said...and Bob saw Horse in the very same moment
and yelled real LOUD "There's Mau's Horse"
And purchased him then and there, saddled him up for the long ride to and from Oracle
and brought him home to Mau and Mau's real proud of Horse...
About a galaxy born later, I found that Presence ... it was hidden among lots and lots of other Lights ... guess it really found me because I felt like some sharp knife had poked my side but actually it was the Light of the Presence piercing me...
Then I thought of my sorrow of missing Arusha and soon as I thought this, I saw DOG.........and I walked over and stroked and stroked ole Dog and brought Dog to ride along with Snake and with Horse and with all the Beings Mathilde had gotten while we were lost in the field of dreams. And we rode out of there flying the rest of the way to Tucson....... and then now all of you know, because you saw, how SNAKE was meant to come to Oracle, just waiting to hitch a ride.....and the healing Crsystal Presence was there all week, feeding the Tree......and all of this came from stopping one one little town and in aother place, getting lost in a shamanic Yankee Stadium........
But I've had a little more time to think about all this...little more time to wonder..
And I think OldMan Coyote was hiding in the MotherDrum the whole way there because all that happened seemed to fit his legendary profile or his shamanic MO. And the reason I think it might be with MotherDrum he was hiding out, is because when I'd check our suitcases every night, I'd find the zipper on DrumBag was loose again yet we never used that Drum until the time of the All Night Renewing...however if Coyote be hiding there he was definitely too clever by far for me for much as I sniffed, left out food to lure him or told loud stories about the 'dangers now about to fall OldMan Coyote" he never showed his face, never came up in my Dreams, and never left any other trace of himself than that zipper (which is why I'm so suspicious it was him!).
I say Coyote for he's always involved (or likes to say he's involved!!) in creation stories all across the Southwest and what happened at Oracle with the sand, Crystals, Snake and Tree was creation itself.......and who'd ever guessed that a town called Gila Bend and one called Quartzite would have creatures or elements that were an essential part of the World We Painted.
I'm taking the same road next time....just because I'm wondering if it's yellow-bricked and I didn't notice or if Coyote OldMan lives there or will there still be a Yankee Stadium....I'm just real, real curious you know.