The Branch

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I will occasionally offer something from a guest writer, and am pleased to share the incredible power of this first one.   

In this time of the Rising Feminine, more and more women are telling their stories, stories that need to be told. Telling them breaks the painful silence; calls would-be perpetrators to think twice; and opens the opportunity for greater healing. 

I have learned to do a wonderful kind of trauma release work, and know the power of it to help do just what Tanah did – leave it behind and move forward in beauty. No longer should our lives and happiness be ruined by the negative actions of an abuser, at any level. Healing is available. 

Tell your stories – they need to be heard. Then you can tell the new and deeper story – of your own healing into the light and joy which can be found in the darkness.

 In light and beauty, Brooke    

THE BRANCH

I have done a U turn at the Pearly Gates several times in my life. Have I lived so that I can share these stories?  Perhaps I am the one I came to inspire. Nevertheless, I have begun to write them down, and have a sense they are meant to be shared. This story stands out the most.

The place, Alaska, a place I still hold as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  I was very young and was on a college break adventure.  One night I accepted a ride home with a co-worker I barely knew.  He did not take me home, rather to remote forested area.  It was winter, very cold and the area was covered with snow and bright moonlight.

There in his car I was beaten and assaulted.  Through the haze of events there was a moment when time stood still.  Through the window I saw a branch, covered in icy crystals.  They were a bright dance of light twinkling in the moonlight.  It looked alive and so incredibly beautiful. It felt like mine, for me.  I fell into the abyss of such splendor. I felt no fear, only peace.  I was immersed in light…I was going there.  This beauty could not be taken from me.  I knew he could not let me live to tell the tale…but he did.

He dumped me, broken, bruised and disoriented.  I did tell the story. There was a trial. It was headline news.  There were threats. I had round the clock State Trooper bodyguards. He was a member of the mighty Teamsters Union. My case would be a landmark. There had never been a rape conviction before.  My case was solid, and they told me I could not lose. He was found innocent of all charges.

All these years later what do I remember most?  The branch.

Years of healing followed, searching for wisdom and the ‘why’.  I was not alone that night. The ‘branch’ moment carried me through more dark times in my life.  In retrospect, there was always a branch.  I am still here.  I still drink deeply from beauty and kindness.  They feed my soul, my body responds, my life reflects them.  I slowly let the story go, my need to understand it.  I realized it is in the past and can no longer hurt me.  I refocused my attention on not just surviving, but thriving.  I was created in love, beauty and kindness.  It cannot be taken from me.  By whatever name, I realized the branch is who I am.

I have not forgotten the trauma of what happened, it has forgotten me.

My love and blessings to all of you, all of your stories. You are my family.  I pray you health and joy.

~~~~~~ Tanah

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Tanah traveled the world, eventually returning to her roots – founding a wilderness school, retreat and Buffalo Preserve, based on honor and respect for all life.

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Foremother’s of Women’s Spirituality

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I am delighted to announce my interview

“The Ancient and Arising Feminine”

on the new 

 Foremothers of Women’s Spirituality
and Their Living Wisdom for Today 

curated and hosted by Vajra Ma.

This is an Online Resource of interviews, biographies, links and more – there is wonderful information in each interview 
so check them all at:  

www.womens-spirituality.org

Please Click Here to Listen to Brooke!

Women’s Spirituality emerged in the 1970’s and 80’s as a major component of the “second wave” of the women’s liberation movement. On this site you will meet some of the Foremothers of that emergence, many of whom are actively continuing and evolving their work today.  They are scholars, artists, activists, authors, teachers, performers and ritualists.

Many people today do not know of these pioneering women and their ongoing living wisdom. And that is why this Foremothers of Women’s Spirituality Online Resource was created.

The Resource aims to bridge that gap, the gap of knowing our history so that we can weave the generations together, restore, and inspire the ongoing resurgence of women’s collective spiritual wisdom and power.

I’m honored to be a part of it! 
Many Blessings as you learn and are inspired. Brooke 
Special Thanks to Charlene Spretnak, Charlotte Cressey and Wolfgang Nebmaier. And to Miriam Robbins Dexter and Vicki Noble for their anthologyForemothers of the Women’s Spirituality Movement: Elders and Visionaries, which inspired this Online ResourceAnd to the many women who gave of their time and wisdom to make this Resource possible.

The Women’s Spirituality Online Resource Center (womens-spirituality.org) is a project of the Shakti Moon Foundation (Shakti-Moon.com) a federally recognized 501(c)3 Not-for-profit Organization. Your tax deductible support for the effort to create and maintain the project and the website is greatly appreciated.
Website design by Wolfgang Nebmaier

‘Toros’  by Brooke Medicine Eagle 2016

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My birthday time is coming – late April, snow on the high peaks, blossoms bursting forth in the valleys, blackbirds singing in the reeds as they pair and repair their nests. Radiance, aliveness, burgeoning irrepressible….

In my childhood on the ranch, baby calves came forth and their mothers licked them into wakefulness, yet their big, soft brown eyes grew weary in the sun of feeding time and they slept on the hay. I would slip up behind them and gently rest myself on them until they stopped their startled struggle, felt my warmth and sweetness, and then we both slept there together among the blossoms in the nurturing light of spring.

In the sky on the April morning of my own emergence into the light of day, the constellation Taurus the Bull lined up with the sun and also with the horizon – giving me double the energy of Taurus (sun and rising). I ran wild and free in that mostly unsettled part of the reservation, following animals trails into the high mountains on the back of my pony. In times of challenge in my young life, my mother would say to me “Stop fighting your head,” when I would bloody myself on whatever tried to confine me, as did the huge, thick muscle-necked bulls when we ran them into confining chutes on rare occasions. I eventually learned to stay calm and breathe my way un-bloodied through the small spaces, yet I was never tamed.

This day I have visited the high mountain Andalusian town of Ronda, and the oldest bull fighting ring in Spain – blessedly quiet on this sunny afternoon. All around me are images of wild bulls, brought into the confines of the ring to fight and lose their lives. On the town walkways, famous matadors’ names are enshrined, and their colorful and extravagant moves flash at me off post cards and posters. But mostly, i can feel the bulls, already harmed – frightened and wild-eyed in a full and shouting ring of those who will cheer and watch them die.

I have recently felt myself in such a place, with my heart pierced in the end and the townspeople applauding; and I am with the bull in the glory and sadism of his final challenge. The crowd is there – looking, judging, yelling, frenzied by the thought of blood. The dark, magnificent bull awes them; his wildness frightens them. They hurl their cowardly shouts from behind high walls, clustered together with others of their kind, yet wishing they had the courage of the last one who steps forth into the ring – the only one brave enough to act out the people’s bloody will. Toreadors – horsemen with their long weapons –  dare to be in the ring, near the danger, yet above it.

Yes, then the matador – the one who has courage enough to step into the ring and dance with the wild one – comes forward. He reminds me of the man who recently stepped into my personal ring with its power and challenge. Although his elderly walk was stiff and seemed clumsy, when he danced he was young and agile and joyful like a matador in his shining moment. He dared to join the thrill and intensity of the dance with me, and was buoyed up by the love and power of it until he could hold me no more. It was time to finish it, and to my utter astonishment, instead of setting me cleanly free, he unsheathed the long blade which plunges through the back.

Toro, the bull, comes out of it’s dark and tortured enclosure into the blinding light and is surrounded – by the small ones above who judge and jeer, and by the horsemen who start the slaughter with spearlike weapons. Only the brilliantly-clothed matador is smaller than the wild one who fights for life. In the glaring sun, a bull fighter swirls his enticing cape; the bull charges, and comes out with a barbed banderilla stuck in his back. Again and again, the toreador’s dancing skill allows him to strike, and soon the bull’s back is festooned with those small picks that looked like feathers flying and bouncing as he runs, unable to escape, blood trickling down from his back above his heart.

All of it – the fear, the rage, the shouting, the horsemen, the bleeding, the unrelenting barrage of insult – begin to wear him down. He does not know he is to be killed; he is only fighting to be free. His wild heart beats fiercely until the end, when the matador drives a sword down through his great heart. He falls, to the cheering roar of the small people in the stands. The wild one has once again been vanquished; their hero has come out unscathed! The people of city and town can go back to their lives, feeling safe again from the terror of what seemed an intense and powerful darkness.

 

And yet some place in their heart mourns the loss, for deep within them lives the song of wildness that comes from Great Earth Mother. It calls to them of pure streams and clear air and sloe-eyed baby calves born of huge bulls, and of meadowlarks and blackbirds singing in the valleys under high, white peaks.

Magnificent wildness cannot be tamed or conquered by smallness. In the heart of life, the bull lives and is free again. What is destroyed is destroyed within the hearts of of the mob who fear and judge and jeer. The ‘triumphant’ crowd which hangs together feeling satisfied and proud, are diminished and yet cannot perceive what it is that eats away at them during the sameness of their days, huddled together in agreement and colluding in justification behind walls of numbness and judgement.

GLORY TO ALIVENESS and FREEDOM!

The bull’s magnificent life awakens again on this spring day in Andalusia, beating in the heart of a newborn calf just being licked by his mother in the sun of a new and radiant morning. Wildness lives on among the blossoms…..

 

PS: I came upon a site which tells the whole story of the bull’s torment, should you care for the nitty gritty…

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http://www.stopbullfighting.org.uk/facts.htm

Restorying Life

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I recently had the joy of a good visit with friend and colleague Gen Boast on her RESTORYING LIFE podcast. It seemed like we covered a lot of territory in that half hour, focused on the evolving shape of the feminine and masculine energies in the world.
Starting it off with a joyful true story of finding two beautiful little springs, pouring pure water into a canyon stream there at Sacred Ground, I spoke at  length about the nurturing and renewing power of the Feminine, and how we can move into the flow of the rising Feminine which has been declared by primary tribes around the world. In my younger days I vision quested under the Sacred Hat Lodge of the Cheyenne people, guided by the amazing elder called The Woman Who Knows Everything! That experience awakened me to a deeper sense of the feminine than I had developed as a tom-boy tough, hard-working ranch girl on the reservation.
More awakening came while living in San Francisco in the 70’s in the midst of upsurging feminism and women’s power movements. The challenge we had then, and now, is that we have lived for thousands of years under the patriarchy and a masculine force that has often become degraded and destructive. Some women thought that putting on men’s clothes and pushing themselves into higher levels of the work force was feminine power – not so, yet we didn’t have much other model.
Now we are beginning to understand that the Feminine is a very opposite kind of empowerment – totally different than push and force. Everything was birthed into this world by the Divine Feminine, Great Mother, whose love, caring, creation from nothing, and support of ongoing Life lives in us as well. Allowing ourselves to drop into that dark womb of creation, to still ourselves and listen to the great voices of harmony that guide us, is not an easy thing in this world of doing – where quietness, being, meditating, resting into moontime days, and honoring the womb of life is not only denigrated but often suppressed.
So we speak of the evolving Feminine, and also the positive Masculine – Holy Cowboys and Native Warrior Chiefs.  I share about oxytocin-based cultures of equality and gifting. And encourage us all to hold strong to the reality of the Golden Dream we carry, seeing this world around us as passing and a new world emerging through our conscious commitment to nurturing and renewing the world.
I think you will enjoy and learn from this short podcast: https://www.medicineeagle.com/bmemedicineeaglecom/free/

THE WHOLE AND HOLY TRUTH my best talk ever!!

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Art by Rogue Guiry Simpson

 

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I recently had the pleasure of doing  an interview with Jocelyn Mercado on her very special summit entitled REMEMBERING THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE.  It gave me an opportunity to share about something very powerful  – the essence of White Buffalo Calf Woman’s teachings. For those of you who do not know, she is the holy woman who came to a group of Lakota peple, bringing the sacred pipe, the Chanupa, and the profound teachings of Holiness.
In this talk, I tell the story of her coming, with its many teachings, and have time to focus on the primary one: that we are One with All Things – a holy perspective – and that we must walk with this truth in our attention if we are to walk in a harmonious and sustainable manner on this Earth. It’s a teaching that is vitally important to us two-legged as we face the environmental, social, political and other critical challenges we have created.  Interestingly enough, modern physics is coming to the same understanding that she offered generations ago. And it is time for us to realize the power and possibility of them.
As with all things that draw my interest, her holy ways are not “just” spiritual, and are certainly not separate from our daily lives – they awaken and empower us in every moment. In one of the best talks I have ever given, I outline some basic principles and the application and usefulness of them in your life – as best I can do in an hour. I share practical techniques  which are the basis of manifesting a full and rich life, and are the same underlying principles within all true religions.
You are invited to spend an hour with me. I think it will serve you well.
Click Here for the Replay Recording –
Remembering the Truth of Who We Are with Jocelyn Mercado 2018 http://www.medicineeagle.com/bmemedicineeaglecom/free/
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In my private and group work, I can help you deepen into these ways that will be very helpful in your life!  Contact me to visit about the possibilities.

The Foundation of Transformation

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The Foundation of Transformation 
I’ve spent my life searching for ways to transform the old negative patterns and craziness that was picked up by most of us in our childhoods. I think of a New Yorker cartoon showing a huge auditorium with a banner “People with Totally Happy Childhoods”. There are 3 people among the many hundreds of empty seats! 😉  It is a somewhat humorous reminder that almost all of us have had challenges of one kind or other growing up – whether we are rich or poor, city or country, only children or one of many. Perhaps it is just how being human goes, and we are meant to transform those difficulties into strength and wisdom, clearing the way to offer our precious and rare gifts to the world.
Too often we get stuck in our heads and our emotions, even when we consciously work on these issues – on our own or with a therapist. I want to suggest that the foundation of our transformation lies in the BODY, in the ancient brain where there are powerful tools to help us truly clear the old and thus be able to move forward into a positive future.
Recently I gave a talk for an international summit called Wonder Quest, in which we were asked to provide positive and useful tools for listeners. I chose this theme, and I think you will find it very useful to listen to what I have shared.
Please leave comments or questions here. I also do private sessions to catalyze your wholeness with the kind of techniques I present in the talk. For more information on those, see Private Work with Brooke 
In this present world where we are asked to meet enormous and critical challenges to our life on Earth, having all our resource available is vitally important. I hope this information is useful to you in creating a better life for yourself, as well as making a positive difference in the world.
 Click Here to listen to the 2018 Wonder Quest Online Event Replay

SACRED GIVEAWAY, HONORABLE HARVEST

SACRED HUNT / SACRED GIVEAWAY with Tanah Whitemore

published in Green Spirit Magazine, England

There is no death, only a change of worlds.  — Chief Seattle

White Buffalo Calf Woman, the bringer of the chanupa – the sacred pipe of holiness – invites us always to hold a view of wholeness and Oneness, in addition to seeing from our minute personal sphere and limited years of experience. When we can breathe the expanded sense of the flowing wholeness that carries us through all time, then larger and perhaps clearer perspectives open to us. We become available to rich learning from the wider world around us.

All life offers profound teachings, and humans are learning to pay attention in profound ways. A primary lesson is respect for the life of all things, as White Buffalo Woman has reminded us in one of her tenets: “Whatever you do to anyone or anything else in the circle of life, you do to yourself, for we are One.” In our time, it is good that animal rights and care groups abound to remind us about the preciousness of all life. I, personally, look at the world with the eyes of a sacred ecologist. A normal ecologist would perhaps focus on the usefulness of trees to clean our air, supply oxygen, hold soil, and offer resources; a sacred ecologist would add: “AND they are living things, a part of the great circle of life, and as such deserve our loving care, just as our own human family does.”

This perspective takes me to the ways of our native peoples regarding killing trees. Elder women went about the camp sites gathering dead and dry wood for fires rather than the men felling trees. In preparation for Sundance ceremony, a tree is taken down, yet days of ceremony precede and accompany this rite. Four young, virtuous girls strike the first blows. Thanksgiving and offerings are made. It is carried to the ceremonial grounds in an honoring procession. Sacred objects are tied in it’s branches. It then represents the world tree – the growing and blossoming center of life. In the Crow Indian sundance form, all dancing moves to and from that tree.

Animals also offer powerful teaching about life and death, which primary hunting societies knew well from their intimate association with their prey. This lesson is about respect and honoring in a holy way, deeper than our usual surface awareness. Not only is the one which is harvested honored as an individual, but as well, the flowing, continuous cycle of life, death and rebirth is experienced with awe and blessing.

Now an awakening generation of non-primary people are tuning in to the challenging depth of full understanding. One of those is Tanah Whitemore, a wise woman of mixed native and European heritage, who is the steward of Sacred Ground, International – a teaching center and buffalo preserve which includes my old home ranch on the Crow Reservation.* I will briefly tell her story here so you can journey with her in what the buffalo have taught her.

Tanah wished to bring the buffalo back to the land they had happily roamed in the last century, and so began with a few bulls and cows. She was concerned about her ability to take care of them, to keep them safe and to insure that their unique needs were met. She took great care of them, or should I say, micro-managed them. In turn, over the years, they showed her how independent and powerful they are – what harmony and richness they create in their natural way of movement across the land. The pastures had been neglected, eaten down; and drought had plagued the rolling hills there under the crystal mountains. We raised money to feed the buffalo big bales of hay, fighting through drifts of snow to get food to them, tearing up ranch vehicles in the challenging process. As the years passed, the herd grew and grew……more food needed, more money, no income, stress….. yet because she loved those buffalo with a fierce protection, she would not think of commercially harvesting any, even though the excellent meat of buffalo was in increasing demand and would have given good income.

As Tanah continued to closely observe over successive years,  she began to see that the grasslands were improving with the buffalo’s hoof action and their way of grazing and moving as a group.  Clear springs came up where their rolling created wallows that filled with water in the spring rain, and thus magnetized water up from the earth to flow forth. She found she had to manage them less and less – they made it obvious that they knew how to live on the land and make it abundant. Yet the herd was growing too big for even her thousands of acres….

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Then the buffalo began the deep teaching of “give-away” as she meditated with them, inviting her to do sacred hunts to harvest some of the herd. As difficult as this was, she cautiously began, bringing in a special kind of hunter who would go through teachings and ancient purification rites to ready themselves, praying and telepathically intending toward the one who would give it’s life — a way practiced by long generations of native hunters. Accompanied by guides and sharp-shooters, they would go on the mountain to the herd and sit, praying for the one who was to give itself. When the hunters got quiet and listened, they would often feel the animal before they saw it, creating a connection beyond normal perception. They awakened to the understanding that they and the buffalo were coming together to exchange gifts, to acknowledge their brotherhood, their oneness.

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Then a pattern begins that astonishes everyone.  A single bull or old cow (whichever has been requested) steps forth, away from the herd and ‘presents’ itself. Those attending report a glow of life, confidence and beauty radiating from this one, who stands proud and strong before them. There is a sense of the buffalo being in joy and celebration, looking around that beautiful homeland for the last time. The one doing the harvest is taught to look into the eyes of this radiant one and give thanks for the gifts about to be exchanged. These buffalo are grateful for the ability to complete and fulfill their journey as providers and teachers – as they are held within the sacred circle of an honoring and acknowledging ceremony. They have been seen, heard and honored for all of their gifts.

The shot, which cannot be taken until everything is clear and the sharpshooters give the OK, has to be behind the head where it joins the neck for a clean kill.  During the hunt then, after those radiant moments in celebration of vital life, the buffalo will often move to stand sideways, then literally turn it’s head to open that exact place to the hunters. The shot will be taken and the buffalo gently go down. By this time the hunters are crying; everyone is crying with the intensity and beauty and power of the moment.

Then the immediate family of that buffalo comes forward from the herd and gathers around it, standing in quiet meditation and honoring. The hunters and guides join in that honoring. Tobacco is placed on the Earth and on the buffalo when they go to it, giving thanks for this gift of bounty and sustenance. **

And often among the next season’s calves, Tanah will sense that new buffalo babies are born to embody the energy of the ones who had previously crossed in the Sacred Harvest. They return to the family and land where they have given-away, continuing the circle of life in joy, and creating a deep lesson from which we must learn.

This conscious cycle deepens over time, continuing to teach Tanah and her hunters about the honor of a respected giveaway, the importance of using everything that was given in a sacred way, the continuation of life, and the returning of those who had gone before. The herd is happy and peaceful, fitting within the bounds of it’s land. Tanah’s love for them grows and deepens, as does her respect for the way the buffalo live on and improve the land, and offer themselves in an exchange of gratitude. 

Birth and life and death move in a circle of beauty and aliveness.  And all is well……

Of course! the path to heaven

doesn’t lie down in flat miles.

Its in the imagination

with which you perceive

this world,

and the gestures

with which you honor it.

—Mary Oliver

Brooke can be reached at www.MedicineEagle.com.

To learn about the hunts and harvests, see www.sacredgroundintl.org  Connect with Tanah (to arrange for a sacred hunt or harvest – yourself or by an especially designated and trained hunter) 406-245-6070     info@sacredgroundintl.org

** This meat is the finest in the world – free range, non-polluted, raised with honor and love. When you (or your group) buy a buffalo rather than packaged meat, there is no requirement for vaccinations or other processes which make the meat less healthy. Sacred Ground arranges processing of meat, hide, skull and all.