Do you have the wisdom necessary for the journey?

April 5, 2015

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the great multicultural pilgrimage from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1995 under guidance of traditional native wisdom keepers. The journey was — and is — the Odyssey of the 8th Fire.

As the meme below attests, I’m moved this year to continue letting people know about the epic saga I authored back in 2007 to tell the tale. As time passes the story becomes increasingly relevant.

Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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Begin the journey: Odyssey of the 8th Fire

March 21, 2015

The year 2015 marks the 20th Anniversary of a great journey that took place over the course of 8 months as a band of pilgrims guided by traditional elders of North America walked from the Atlantic to the Pacific under the sky sign of the Whirling Rainbow. This journey was a response to the urgent call of the land.

To help commemorate that walk across the land, I’m creating a series of memes letting people know where they can learn the whole of of the true, epic saga Odyssey of the 8th Fire. Here’s is one sample meme that I plan send out on it’s own digital odyssey:

BeginTheJourney

I invite you also to begin the journey. Explore what the odyssey of the 8th fire is about, and consider making an 8-month spiritual-literary journey, reading one journal entry each day from the start of the odyssey onward.

With respect, SM


The Walk Humanity is Taking

March 15, 2015

SunbowMeme


R.I.P. Mishomis – Grandfather William Commanda

August 3, 2011

At the UN - Grandfather Commanda (center) displays the Seven Fires Wampum Belt at The House of Mica - UN headquarters on Manhattan Island. Frank Decontie (L) and Eddie Decontie (R) help hold the belt.

Dear Relatives -Grandfather William Commanda died early Wednesday morning, August 3, 2011, two days before the start of his annual gathering in Maniwaki, Quebec, Canada. He was 97 years old.

Among the many accomplishments in his long life as a protector and defender of the land, Grandfather served as Spiritual Advisor to the Sunbow 5 Walk for the Earth in 1995-95, a walk chronicled in Odyssey of the 8th Fire.  The story of Grandfather’s leadership of this epic walk is also at the heart of the project to create an audiobook based on the nonfiction Tales of the Whirling Rainbow. I am honored to have known Grandfather, and to have traveled with him, since 1989. He was a remarkable man with a brilliant soul.
Meegwetch, Mishomis (Thank you, Grandfather)

One of the many birchbark canoes Grandfather Commanda built over the years.

* * * * * * * *

In my memory, one vivid picture of Grandfather’s resolute nature comes strongest. It was 16 years ago:  Friday, November 24, 1995 in the desert to the west of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. We’d been on the road a long time. It was Day 155 in the Sunbow 5 Walk for the Earth (the Odyssey of the 8th Fire). In his 80s at the time, Grandfather served as Spiritual Advisor for the walk and its epic quest across Turtle Island (North America).

Grandfather Commanda (author photo)

Grandfather was leading us from Atlantic to Pacific to meet with and learn from wise elders of all traditions, and to seek out “what had been left by the side of the trail long ago” as described in the Seven Fires Prophecy.

But our grand pilgrimage for peace and unity had hit the wall of human nature by the time we got to New Mexico. We had been arguing viciously among ourselves, and fractured into four or more groups — each group filled with suspicions and hostility.

As we arrived at a desert knoll to circle up for our council and air our ferocious grievances against each other, the wind rose. It blew so hard — 45 to 50 mph — that the air literally began to scream across the desert. The unrelenting desert gale blew stinging sand into everyone and everything. The storm rocked across the desert with howls and jerks, whipping ceaselessly through our gathering as we huddled low on a dune, seeking a windbreak. We prayed.

In the desert of the west direction, Grandfather listened to us for a long, long time, and then confronted our brokenness. His hands shook and his eyes filled with tears. He wiped his tears and then spoke. “No,” he said. “This is not my way, this is not the way. You must all stay together. You must stay in unity.”

He was unshakeable on this point: “You must all stay together as one group, one circle,” he said. “You can’t kick people out of the hoop. That’s not the way forward. You must find a way to stay together…You cannot fulfill the Seven Fires teachings any other way…”

In this manner it was settled. We were all to walk together — one reconciled, reunited walk.

* * * * * * * *

With the help of his companion Romola Treblecock, Grandfather Commanda developed his own website, a Circle of All Nations. Among the many treasures in his spiritual legacy to the people, he left his vision for Asinabka – an indigenous guided island for personal and planetary healing, located downtown in the river that runs through the heart of Ottawa, Ontario and Hull, Quebec.  Grandfather Commanda’s final vision is only part way to fulfillment. It needs wider support to come to full realization.


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