Great Spirit Star Catcher and the Shape Shifting Queen
Zitkala-Ša (1876–1938) (Dakota: pronounced zitkála-ša, which translates to “Red Bird”), also known by the missionary-given name Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was a Sioux (Yankton Dakota) writer, editor, musician, teacher and political activist. She wrote several works chronicling her youthful struggles with identity and pulls between the majority culture and her Native American heritage. Her later books in English were among the first works to bring traditional Native American stories to a widespread white readership.
Zitkala-Ša was highly politically active throughout most of her adult life. During her time on the Uintah-Ouray reservation in Utah, she joined the Society of American Indians, a progressive group formed in 1911. It was dedicated to preserving the Native American way of life while lobbying for the right to full American citizenship. Zitkala-Ša served as the SAI’s secretary beginning in 1916. She edited its journal American Indian Magazine from 1918 to 1919.]Since the late 20th century, activists have criticized the SAI and Zitkala-Ša as misguided in their strong advocacy of citizenship and employment rights for Native Americans. Such critics believe that Native Americans have lost cultural identity as they have become more part of mainstream American society.
Zitkala-Ša was also active in the 1920s in the movement for women’s rights, joining the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1921. It was a grassroots organization dedicated to diversity in its membership and to maintaining a public voice for women’s concerns. Through the GFWC she created the Indian Welfare Committee in 1924. She catalysed a government investigation into the exploitation of Native Americans in Oklahoma and the attempts being made to defraud them of drilling rights to their oil-rich lands. Zitkala-Ša was co-author of “Oklahoma’s Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribe-Legalized Robbery”. The article exposed several corporations that had robbed and even murdered Native Americans in Oklahoma to gain access to their lands. (Found on Wikipedia)
I dedicate this channelled writing to Zitkala-Sa a Native American woman of great courage, an inspiration.
Before reading this channelled piece of writing, please sit in a quiet place. When you read these words they activate deep in your psyche re remembering of deep cell memory. Stories hold the key to our subconscious world and they bypass our conscious in order to go deeper within our psyche. This has a more lasting effect and also help us uncover truth within ourselves. You the reader are the main character in this story. These sacred stories send you into a deep meditative state that connect you to the Divine within yourself and unlock deep mysteries within.
Unable to sleep and having dreams of terror and fear, I hang my dream catcher above my bed to catch those dreams that make me tremble in the night before I prepare for sleep. The feathers surrounding the dream catcher rustle as it sways with the gentle breeze of the night, and I drift off into sleep. As I drift off into the state between waking and sleeping I hear the sound of distant drum beat, the dream catcher sways as if to the rhythm of the distant sound vibrating with energy. Even in my sleep I feel myself swaying and walking towards the sound of this faraway drum beat. As I get a little nearer I hear the rattle and a flute playing in an intoxicating tempo. Even in my dream state I question, am I dreaming within a dream?
I continue to follow the beat and I reach a forest, even in the moonlight its magnificence could not be hidden. The tall trees standing like sentinels illuminated by the full moon and the clear night sky lit with a blankets of stars. Even the leaves of the trees appeared to be swaying to the beat of mystical music playing through as if they were conversing some hidden language that I had long forgotten.
In the distance I see a light in between the trees and as I wander closer it is a fire, I can see dancing through the trees, and through the flames I can make out the form of a feminine figure. She is moving to the rhythm of the sound.
I gasp with wonder, is she made of fire or flesh I question, as I am entranced by her form swaying and stirring. My feet move onwards as if alive in themselves to the sounds they hear, not attached to my physical body. As the forest dances and vibrates to this sacred sound I move closer to the dancing Goddess within the Fire. I see around her are people dressed in feathers adorned by paint completely oblivious to my presence and deeply travelling into other realms, swaying and dancing around the fire yet not present there at all. I smells herbs burning that send my senses into incandescent shifting as I myself begin to become fluid without body able to travel into dimension and realms. Yet before I leave the fire and the forest, I hear a commanding voice saying;
‘Stay here, Divine Child!!’
As I look up I see Her stepping out from the fire, majestic her beauty is beyond this world I cannot fathom whether she is human or some magnificent creature of a different realm. She is adorned by elements, by animals and the forest as if there is no separation from all that is around us and her. Yet she commands the space like a Divine Goddess.
I rub my eyes to ascertain whether I am indeed dreaming or waking, still at this point I have no real idea of whether I am fully awake and present or caught within a web of dreams. As is having understanding of my thoughts she declares;
‘You have travelled here through the gateway of dream land yet you are awake. The gateway was your dream catcher.’
I gasped and sat back as I am trying to gather myself together.She walks over towards me and as she does her shape changes, into several different animals and bird shapes. As she nears me I hear the call of wolves in the distance. She stops and as she pulls me up to speak to me, she pauses as if soaking in the sound of the wolves howling.
‘Hear them they are expressing their happiness at your arrival.’
I look at her dumbfounded she pulls me nearer and strokes my hair. As she does this she transforms into a bear and hugs me tightly. I feel so safe in her embrace I forget even where I am for a moment. The she guides me over to a little creek where she ushers me to sit. She changes again into a magnificent form that is adorned with earrings made of dream catchers and by the web of a spider. She gleamed with splendour and majesty, as I sit next to her mesmerised and attentive;
‘It took courage to come here child I know this, the pain is still very raw and to enter this realm and psyche is with the pleasure of the union still has such pain relating to it that many escape into different realms just to escape that pain. ‘I look at her in wonder.
She looked at me with tears in her eyes and points to the Earth.
‘This land is still mourning the loss of its people, the pain is still intertwined within its core. The wind the valleys and mountains, the streams and lakes call their names. Even those that survive are not present they are trapped, fragmented within other realms to escape the present as the pain is overwhelming.’
Hearing her words and feeling the immense pain that I am surrounded by, I too have tears streaming down my face. For a while we both sit and sob for all that was and the loss of all that was lost. Then she turns to me and says,
‘Now we must rebuild and heal, we must help restore if we are to move forward. So this is why I have called you here my child. For you must send the message to all who read these words that they too can help and heal the psyche and the land of these massacred people. For all those indigenous people who were slaughtered in the name of progress. They too can allow their bodies to be used to tap into the pain, and allow it to flow through them and in turn sending love and healing to the land and the people who are left of that descent to rise for their ancestors to reclaim the glory of their being, for much work needs to be done to rebuild and heal. In turn we heal the Earth our Gaia, we help or animal and birds, and all creatures who live as kindred spirits with us. There is no blame to be attached to anyone as this will slow down the process, and we must not waste time we must focus on healing and restoration. For those to awaken from their slumber and access the deep wisdom of their ancestors. They hold keys to the sacred wisdom and knowledge their energy will help raise human consciousness. Yet they must be woken from their slumber and restored for this to happen, the land also must heal by tapping into this consciousness. Those who read these words can help. By activating those parts in themselves these words hold the vibrations to do this.’
‘Use the sacred music allow that pain to flow the dance, the sound itself helps to cleanse and restore us as it carries such vibrations, it is steeped with codes of healing. Each tune made by the Native peoples was for a purpose, many tap into the spirits of the Earth and the Creatures, the Stars and the Cosmic Directions. This is why even without knowing the words you become lifted and rejuvenated.’
With these words I hear the drum playing and she pulls me up to my feet. I follow her to the fire and I allow the sound to enter my being, to completely hold me in rapture and enter my every cell, and I dance and sway, moving to its beat. The chants, the rattles, the flute and the drums all part of this splendour of sound and glory. I dance for the healing of the people, the healing of the land, the healing of that fragmented part of myself that is linked to the oneness of all.
I dance for love and for the sake of love. I feel myself change many forms as I shape shift and dance, moving through the spirits of all that is and was. I dance through the pain, the tears, the loss and through the joy of union. I dance till I hear no tune, till there is nothing left not even myself.
I open my eyes to find myself back in my bedroom, the dream catcher still swaying in the gentle night breeze. I am in disarray thinking to myself did I have a dream or was any of it real? As I approach my bed to lie down I catch a glimpse of myself in the Moonlight falling on the mirror and see that I have a markings and on my face and feathers in my hair.
©Written and Channelled by Layla at Surya Therapy
Music Love Mountain by Alborada
While reading you may like to listen to Love Mountain a soothing, uplifting, piece of music by Alborada.
Captures the Native American Indian Spirit and captures the yearning and longing for the Great Spirit it stirs the soul and activates the parts within the being that need healing with love.
Ritual – Retrieving Fragmented Parts of Self
Dear reader do not put the reading of this channelling as a mere coincidence you have been drawn here to read this activation to re- remember that lost part of yourself that is connected to the indigenous people. You yearn for that connection because of this and the healing of the psyche of the indigenous people also is part of your healing and retrieving that part of yourself. So that you may access the wisdom that once was part of your existence in physical form. Now through this activation and through this ritual you will awaken that part of self.
This ritual can be done outside in nature or indoors wherever you feel comfortable and able to express yourself without restraint. Create a circle of whatever you feel that you connect with it can be crystals, twigs from trees, favourite stones, flowers or any objects that are from the Earth. Seat or stand within the circle and play the music that is below.
Music Track – Wa-Sha-Quon-Asin by Phil Thornton
Before you do this ritual listen to the track a few times so you get accustomed to the sounds.
Whilst you are standing or sitting within the circle raise your hands and allow the vibration of the prayer through your being close your eyes. If you are standing sway with the music and move with the beat allowing the chant to wash over you. If you are seated then just listen and move sway your arms with the rhythm and allow it to wash over your being. After a few times of listening you will be able to chant the prayer yourselves. Once the song is finished raise your hand to the heaven and thank the Great Spirit.
Over the next few days allow the energy to settle within your being and pay attention to all that you are drawn to, journal or write any feelings or connections that you may have come across. Pay close attention to nature around you too as you will be more likely to be able to ascertain from your environment what the Earth is saying to you. Listen to the wind, the trees rustling the stones, the streams or rivers, the birds or other animals. All of nature will communicate with you even the clouds in the sky you need to open your heart and listen connect to Her.
‘..The voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers…’
Quote by Zitkala–Sa
Native American Prayer
Give us hearts to understand
Never to take from creation’s beauty more than we give,
Never to destroy want only for the furtherance of greed,
Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth’s beauty,
Never to take from her what we cannot use.
Give us hearts to understand
That to destroy earth’s music is to create confusion,
That to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty,
That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench,
That as we care for her she will care for us.
Give us hearts to understand
We have forgotten who we are.
We have sought only our own security.
We have exploited simply for our own ends.
We have distorted our knowledge.
We have abused our power.
Whose dry lands thirst,
Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.
Whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,
Help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.
Whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,
Help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.
Whose creatures are being destroyed,
Help us to find a way to replenish them
whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,
Help us to find the way to restore our humanity.
All Art used is created by Susan Seddon Boulet
Photos of Zitkala – Sa as photographed by Joseph Keiley in 1901.