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
June / 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.
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)
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.
- Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The
Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Respect all things that are placed upon this Earth — whether it be
people, animal or plant. Honor the Spirit in all things.
- Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt
another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to
- 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.
- All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.
- Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice
- Nature is not for us, it is a part
of us. They are part of your worldly family.
- 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.
- Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will
return to you.
- Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of one’s will within
- 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
- Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will
react. Be responsible for your own actions.
- Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the
personal property of others — especially sacred and religious
objects. This is forbidden.
- Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you
cannot nurture and help yourself first.
- Respect others’ religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on
- 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
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
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
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?
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.
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 about
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:
- Sports teams: Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Nittany Lions, Baltimore
Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia
Eagle, Atlanta Hawks.
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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:
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 may want to compare notes with a friend and begin to notice that
different people will encounter different animals. What can you learn from
- 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
- 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
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
“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
- 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
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.
Books - Disclosure:
We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.
- 365 Days Of Walking The Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a
Spiritual Life Every Day. Terri Jean. Adams Media,
2003. ISBN-10: 0803279744 ISBN-13: 978-0803279742
- The Good Red Road: Passages into Native America. Kenneth Lincoln.
Bison Books, 1997 ISBN-10:
0803279744 ISBN-13: 978-0803279742
- Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great &
Small. Ted Andrews. Llewellyn Publications, 1996. ISBN-10:
0875420281 ISBN-13: 978-0875420288
- Animal-Wise: The Spirit Language and Signs of Nature. Ted
Andrews. Dragonhawk Publishing, 1999. ISBN-10:
1888767340 ISBN-13: 978-1888767346
- Nature-Speak: Signs, Omens & Messages in Nature. Ted Andrews.
Dragonhawk Publishing, 2004. ISBN-10:
1888767375 ISBN-13: 978-1888767377
- The Medicine Way: A Shamanic Path to Self Mastery. Kenneth Meadows.
Element Books Ltd, 1997. ISBN-10:
1862040222 ISBN-13: 978-1862040229
- Earth Medicine: Revealing Hidden Teachings of the Native American
Medicine Wheel. Kenneth Meadows. Element Books Ltd,
1852306688 ISBN-13: 978-1852306687
- The Book of Ceremonies: A Native Way of Honoring and Living the
Sacred. Gabriel Horn. New World Library, 2005. ISBN-10:
1577315049 ISBN-13: 978-1577315049
- Wizard of the Upper
Amazon. F. Bruce Lamb. North Atlantic Books, 1993.
0938190806 ISBN-13: 978-0938190806
- The Power Path: The Shaman's Way to Success in Business and Life.
Jose Stevens. New World Library, 2002. ISBN: 1577312171
- Income Without a Job: Living Well Without a Paycheck. Michael
Jay Anthony, Barbara J. Taylor. Lulu.com,
978-0-557-00377-8. Website: www.income-without-a-job.com.
Tap into your own creativity and use your full potential. Learn
how to see opportunities that others miss.
Great Spirit - Morning Prayers
January 2010 - Forecast for the Year
July 1998 - Developing and Using
June 2009 - Imagine a Vision and Make
February 2007 - Visioning for the
March 2009 - The Seven Steps to Change
July 2002 - Executive Development
July 2007 - Let Freedom Ring!
Tributes to the American Spirit
About our resource
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