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spike bullet June / July / August 2010 — Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

The Good Red Road
The Native American Code of Ethics
Power Animals, Animal Totems, Animal Wisdom
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)
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color bulletJune / July / August 2010 — Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

We are taking a break as we move from Washington back to Southern California.  This is the first break we’ve had in our newsletter (other than a computer crash) since we started this website 15 years ago.  When we resume the newsletter, we will be moved to the place that is now being created by the Universe for us.  As of today, exactly when or where we will move is still unknown, yet we do know that everything is working in exactly the right way and will be revealed at exactly the right time.

We leave you with some things to ponder during the next three months: some tips and suggestions for using ancient wisdom for the challenges we face today in our world.

color bulletThe Good Red Road

We stumbled across the Native American Code of Ethics when researching the term "the good red road" and the significance of the Red-winged Blackbird, a beautiful symbol of ancient wisdom brought into physical form.  The Red-winged Blackbird is often viewed as a good luck omen with a very distinctive song.  Red-winged Blackbirds are prevalent where we currently live as they love to be near water ponds, sitting on cattails, perching in trees nearby or flying on the gentle wind.  Their distinctive song can be heard clearly and they can be seen frequently as they are very active in the early morning during the spring and early summer months.

Following the "Good Red Road" means that someone is following their designated path in life, doing their life’s work in harmony with the earth and with the creator.  The Blue Road is where we go when we die and return to spirit form.  (our definition)

The phrase - "The Good Red Road" is a term used by many different Native American tribal communities to represent one who is walking the road of balance, living right and following the rules of the Creator.  Many of us at The Good Red Road (press) hope that you will walk the path with us - or you will share in our journey.  (by Terri  Jean Andrews from http://www.angelfire.com/biz2/turquoisebutterfly/roadintro.html

Other people say it means "walking softly on the Earth" – leaving the Earth undamaged as they pass. (from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/223449/walking_the_good_red_road_learning.html?cat=27

Another definition: One who studies the Great Mystery, a person who follows the Native American Medicine Path is said to be walking the Good Red Road.  The Good Red Road runs South to North [on the Medicine Wheel] and is also the means by which we communicate with our ancestors to receive guidance from them.  Travel on the Good Red Road eventually leads one to what we call the Blue Road (referred to as the Black road in some native traditions) of Spirit, which runs East to West.  (from http://www.angelfire.com/nv2/wells/shoshone_medicine.html

color bullet The Native American Code of Ethics

The following code of ethics is a beautiful and timely reminder of ancient wisdom that can help us every single day to live a fulfilled life of balance and  harmony in alignment with the earth and with others.  

  1. Rise with the sun to pray.  Pray alone.  Pray often.  The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
  2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path.  Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul.  Pray that they will find guidance.
  3. Search for yourself, by yourself.  Do not allow others to make your path for you.  It is your road and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
  4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration.  Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.
  5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture.  It was not earned nor given.  It is not yours.
  6. Respect all things that are placed upon this Earth — whether it be people, animal or plant.  Honor the Spirit in all things.
  7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words.  Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them.  Allow each person the right to personal expression.
  8. Never speak of others in a bad way.  The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.
  9. All persons make mistakes.  And all mistakes can be forgiven.
  10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit.  Practice optimism.
  11. Nature is not for us, it is a part of us.   They are part of your worldly family.
  12. Children are the seeds of our future.  Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons.  When they are grown, give them space to grow.
  13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others.  The poison of your pain will return to you.
  14. Be truthful at all times.  Honesty is the test of one’s will within this universe.
  15. Keep yourself balanced.  Your mental self, spiritual self, emotional self and physical self — all need to be strong, pure and healthy.  Work out the body to strengthen the mind.  Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.
  16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react.  Be responsible for your own actions.
  17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others.  Do not touch the personal property of others — especially sacred and religious objects.  This is forbidden.
  18. Be true to yourself first.  You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.
  19. Respect others’ religious beliefs.  Do not force your belief on others.
  20. Share your good fortune with others.  Participate in charity.  Be willing to give back to the people, so that People will live.

["Native American Code of Ethics" by Terri Jean, author of 365 Days of Walking the Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day.  Adams Media Corp., 2003. Used by permission.]  

Living in harmony with nature, with the planet and with others is not hard if we remember that we are here temporarily.  While it may seem that our life is long — when compared to the planet Earth, we are but a speck of dust in time.  We can choose to be a positive force during our time here or we can choose to be a negative force.

Right now, we are seeing the devastation caused by those who have not thought through their impact on the planet and others.  We are referring to the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the failure of the Deepwater Horizon oil well that has been spewing oil out of control for more a month now, with many unsuccessful efforts to stop the damage.  Yes, people make mistakes and we should forgive mistakes as noted in the code of ethics above.  And, we also know that we can learn much from this man-made tragedy so that we can create a better world in the future.  The old saying, "Don't mess with Mother Nature" comes to mind.   Nature is far stronger than us humans, in spite of our arrogant belief that we can do anything we want without consequences.  

It all starts with each one of us making a choice every singe day, in every single action we take and every single interaction with others.  Are we doing the right thing?  Are we doing the very best we can?  Are we respecting other people, the environment, our elders, our own heritage?  If not, we can pause and rethink what we might do.  We can clean up our own mess.  We can treat others with respect, including treating all of our natural resources with respect.

color bullet Power Animals, Animal Totems and Animal Wisdom

Over the past few years, I’ve been taking classes that help us learn more about our power animals.  Until I got involved in these classes aboutUS flower - roses with teddy bear 8 years ago, I rarely thought much about how much animals and nature can affect us every single day.  We know that the native indigenous peoples view animals as totems, symbols, messengers and manifestations of spirit.  They bring omens and signs to us.  Animals, plants and other aspects of our environment provide wisdom and guidance when they show up.  

Nature, animals and plants are such an integrated part of our culture that most people don’t even realize how prominent they are.  We honor them by naming all sorts of things after them and yet we are almost blind to their presence in our modern world.  Consider these few examples:

  1. Sports teams: Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Nittany Lions, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagle, Atlanta Hawks. 
  2. Automobiles: Ford Mustang, Ford Bronco, Ford Cobra, Mercury Cougar, Mercury Sable, Dodge Colt, Dodge Ram, Dodge Viper, Plymouth Barracuda, Plymouth Roadrunner, Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Fox, Volkswagen Rabbit, Chevrolet Bison, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray, Nissan Bluebird, Australian Cheetah, Datsun Honey Bee, Studebaker Lark, Porsche Spider, Jaguar.
  3. Consumer products: Many children's toys and products, Snow Leopard operating system for Mac computers, Llamma X-box components, LeapFrog, Red Bull, Orange Mobile Network plan names (Dolphin, Raccoon, Panther).   
  4. Music groups: The Byrds, The Eagles, The Monkees, The Beatles, The Turtles, Gorillaz, Wolfmother, Flock of Seagulls, The Animals,  Super Furry Animals, The Crickets, The Doves.US national bird - American Bald Eagle (regal, strong and proud)
  5. Business names: Apple Computers, Caterpillar Tractors, Great Wolf Lodge resort, Eagle Bear ranch, Eagle Industries, Elephant Car Wash, Blackbird Bakery, Lioness Records, Lioness Jewelry, Lions Club, Panther Film Equipment, Bear Archery, Dogwood Clothing, Rose Business Forms & Printing. 
  6. Place names: Little Rat Creek, WY; Wolf Point, MT; Beaver, UT; Greybull, WY; Eagle Nest, NM; Big Bear, California; Foxborough, MA; Panther Lick, MS; Caribou, MA; Bovina, MS; Jackass Flats, VA; Hoot Owl, TX; Antelope, TX; Locust Grove, GA; Rising Fawn, GA; Monkey's Eyebrow, KY; Rabbit Hash, KY; Wolverine, MI; Otter Lake, Ontario; Duck River, TN; Deer Park, WA; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; Pigeon Forge, TN
  7. Each US state has a variety of state animals, birds and plants as symbols or emblems.  Examples: California’s state animal: Grizzly Bear, New Mexico’s state animal: Black Bear, Maryland’s state bird: Baltimore Oriole, North Carolina’s state flower: Dogwood, Michigan’s state reptile: Painted Turtle.   
  8. In the United States, our national flower is the Rose (ancient and beautiful, uniquely fragrant, growing tame and wild with many colors and varieties); our national bird is the American Bald Eagle (regal, proud and strong).   

For the next few months, if you are interested in doing something different — just for fun — try these things:

  1. Notice how many animal names or plant names are used in products and other names all around you.  What qualities of the animal or plant is the product trying to incorporate?  What does the name tell you about that product?  What images come to mind when you see or hear the name?
  2. Take the time to notice what animals show up in your life.  This includes birds and insects — notice all creatures of nature that make their presence known to you.  Ask yourself what message the animal might be bringing to you.
  3. Research the meanings that have been attributed to the animals.  There are many websites that have information and some very good books.  A few are listed in our resources section.  Listen to your intuition in addition to whatever else you might find in research.
  4. You might create a journal to keep track of what shows up for you and the messages that you receive.  You might find that you dream about certain animals.  Ask yourself, "What messages are trying to reach me through or from this animal?"  Pay attention to what comes to you.   
  5. You may want to compare notes with a friend and begin to notice that different people will encounter different animals.  What can you learn from those differences?
  6. Notice the trees and plants that are in your environment.  Are you drawn to a specific type of flower, a specific type of tree or a specific type of plant?  Do you find peace in the deep woods or at the ocean or working in your garden?  All of those will tell you something about yourself if you are willing to take the time to learn more and to listen to what nature can tell you.
  7. If you find you are attracted to particular animals or plants that seem to be bringing you messages or special wisdom, create a way to have them be more visible in your life.  If you can't have the real thing with you, you might create a collage of photos (online, on your computer or printed on paper).  You might be able to find small toy replicas to keep in a place where you can see them.  Or, you might find stuffed toys of them to remind you of what they are telling you.

Ted Andrews is probably the most widely known person writing about how to interpret animals and nature.  He died in 2009 and left behind a deep legacy of knowledge that will be used for many generations to come.

Nature is the most powerful realm of magic and spirituality upon the Earth.  It is the source of primal energies and great spirits.  It is an initiatory path, and within it are most of life’s lessons and most of life’s answers.  There are teachings about life, death and rebirth.  There are teachings of creativity and the development of survival skills.  Within it are doorways to other realms and dimensions and to a myriad of wonders along the way. (from Nature-Speak)

The early shamans, priests and priestesses were scientists as well as mystics.  They studied the plants and animals, learning their characteristics and qualities.  They also honored the spirit expressed in them.  When we realize that our learning and guidance comes from sources other than human, our world is no longer the same.  It becomes filled with new possibilities.  (From Animal-Wise)

The animal world has much to teach us.  Some animals are expert at survival and adaptation, some never get cancer, some embody strength and courage while others exude playfulness.  Animals remind us of the potential we can unfold, but before we can learn from them, we must first be able to speak with them.  (From Animal-Speak)

Some of the animals we've encountered in recent months, in addition to the Red-winged Blackbirds mentioned earlier:

  • Raccoon – Raccoons are very powerful medicine, smart, resourceful, scavengers, survivors and very resilient.  They are also about everything changing, in a state of flux, making a change and finding out what I really want.  Raccoons can figure out anything.  Significance: A Raccoon showed up several nights in a row, making a big racket with their noisy attempts in the middle of the night to remove the Styrofoam outdoor faucet/hose covers outside our bedroom.  Once we looked up the significance of Raccoons, they stopped keeping us awake with their explorations (they did make off with the  Styrofoam cover, which has not been seen since).  As we are planning to move from one state to another, the Raccoon is a very helpful reminder that we can figure it all out and survive the transition resiliently.  They are also a reminder to have fun and enjoy the adventure along the way.  
  • Rat  –  “Rats adapt well to environmental changes and can survive on just about anything.  They hold the teachings of resourcefulness.  If Rat has come to you, look at ways you may be participating in wasteful consumption or fear based emotions and begin to change your habits appropriately."  Significance: The Rat came as we were getting ready to put our house on the market - a reminder to clean up our home, our garage and our life as we prepare to make a major move.  
  • Crow – Two crows got my attention while taking a walk one day.  “Wherever crows are, there is magic.  They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength.  They remind us to look for opportunities to create and manifest the magic of life.  They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us."  Significance: Another reminder that anything can happen and that we can create our world, seemingly magically.  And, another reminder not to stress about what all the changes happening in our life on a day-to-day basis.
  • Rabbit – "While teaching of freedom, Rabbit will also teach us the value of knowing when to speed up, when to slow down and when to double back to revisit something we may have missed or need to set right."  Significance: A reminder that there is a timing that we may not understand so not to get impatient about how events are unfolding.  
  • Spider – The spider is a symbol of weaving the past and the future, maintaining balance, creating a web from the raw material of the universe and of nurturing the feminine energy of creativity.  Significance: It was a dream about a spider that provided the title and the idea for this article, and that we needed to take a break for a few months.  As we prepare to move, we are creating a new web of life that will unfold for us magically in a new and different place.  

We wish you a beautiful, glorious summer filled with new knowledge, new insights and wonderful experiences.  May your own power animals bring you much joy and adventure as you walk your own Good Red Road.  

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related articles:
    Great Spirit - Morning Prayers 
    January 2010 - Forecast for the Year
    July 1998 - Developing and Using Intuition
    June 2009 - Imagine a Vision and Make it Real
    February 2007 - Visioning for the Future
    March 2009 - The Seven Steps to Change
    July 2002 - Executive Development
    July 2007 - Let Freedom Ring!
    Tributes to the American Spirit

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

 

About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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