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Jamie Sams, a member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, brings us a powerful new method for honoring and incorporating native feminine wisdom into our daily lives. Combining a rich oral tradition—passed on to her by two Kiowa Grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow and Berta Broken Bow—with the personal healing and guidance she has experienced through her female Elders, Sams created The 13 Original Clan Mothers. Each of the Clan Mothers reflects a particular teaching, relates to a cycle of the moon, and possesses special ...
Jamie Sams, a member of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge, brings us a powerful new method for honoring and incorporating native feminine wisdom into our daily lives. Combining a rich oral tradition—passed on to her by two Kiowa Grandmothers, Cisi Laughing Crow and Berta Broken Bow—with the personal healing and guidance she has experienced through her female Elders, Sams created The 13 Original Clan Mothers. Each of the Clan Mothers reflects a particular teaching, relates to a cycle of the moon, and possesses special totems, talents, and gifts that can help each of us cultivate our own personal gifts and talents.
The Medicine Shields of the Thirteen Original Clan Mothers are a part of the ancient legend that surrounds the life lessons and the gifts each Clan Mother gives to humankind. In the Americas, the lodges, palaces, and temples that carry emblems of Turtle are reminders to our modern world that the legacy of the Sisterhood is still alive. Whether carved in stone like the Turtle Temples of the Mayans in the Yucatan, or painted on frescoes in the Toltec and Inca places of worship, or carved in petroglyphs across North America, these emblems of Turtle represent our connections to the Earth Mother and her thirteen different aspects, the Original Clan Mothers.
Oral history tells us that each Clan Mother made a Medicine Shield that represented her talents, strengths, and abilities. These traits could be called on by anyone who chose to develop those same gifts within the Orenda of the Self. Orenda, in the Seneca language, is the Spiritual Essence that contains the Eternal Flame of Love where the Great Mystery lives inside all things. The Orenda houses the guiding light and the inner voice that teaches us our potential and our greatest capacity to love and to be loving.
In ancient times, to call on the spirit of one of the Thirteen Wisdom Keepers, a person needed to focus on the identity and abilities of that particular Clan Mother. To connect to the spiritual identity of a Clan Mother's Medicine, we need to Enter Tiyoweh. This discipline is the Indian way of calming the mind and sitting in the Stillness, to listen or receive. The ceremony of Entering Tiyoweh isalways done alone, away from the bustle of daily activity. Then, the person uses focus to invite a particular Clan Mother into the fertile silence of her or his Sacred Space, allowing the purity of her or his heart to send the unspoken invitation. Since the Clan Mothers were never physically described, their Medicine Shields were often used as the focal point, held gently in the mind's eye. The person seeking the wisdom held by a Clan Mother was then able to allow the receptive side of her or his nature to be visited. This visitation was not from the Spirit World as with an Ancestor's Spirit but rather was an inward journey that rekindled the flame of the thirteen aspects of feminine transformation from within the female side of human nature.
Grandmothers Cisi and Berta were fine teachers and always told me that the Thirteen Clan Mothers never appear in the same manner or form to anyone seeking their counsel. By using the ability to appear as all of the faces of womankind, the Clan Mothers can touch and teach each individual in a unique way. This flexibility of form is important since equality is one of the foundations of their teachings. If they appeared in the same form to everyone, it would be too easy for us, as human beings with human limitations, to brag that some of the Clan Mothers' talents belonged only to a particular race or genetic line.
The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers came to walk the Earth in adult human bodies that did not age. I was never told why the Earth Mother chose to have her spiritual aspects embody the forms of fully grown women, but I suppose that the fragility and mortality rate of children' during the Ice Age could have had some bearing on the decision. The ability of the Clan Mothers to possess bodies that did not become ill or age could be legend or could be fact—it is not for me to say. I was taught that when the Clan Mothers' missions were completed and they disappeared from the face of the Mother Planet, the Thirteen Crystal Skulls were left in their places. I have sought to understand their Medicines with my heart, not with my mind. I have been in the presence of a few of the Crystal Skulls and I know in the deepest part of my being that they hold the mind-set of the Earth Mother and the feminine principle on our planet.
In my personal eighteen-year process of living with the Clan Mothers' Medicines, I focused on developing my own abilities as I related to each one individually. For me, the culmination of this learning process has been in sharing these teachings through this book and in using my own intuition and creativity to make the Medicine Shields of the Thirteen Clan Mothers.
These Medicine Shields are actually tiny drums that represent the heartbeat of the Earth Mother. Coming out of each drum/shield is the mask each Clan Mother wears for me to see. Each Medicine Shield has three feathers at the bottom, representing the way I see the Spirit World and the Red Road of the Natural World come together in the heart of each living thing. Three feathers also represent the balance of our male and female sides with the center feather holding the Great Mystery's love.
In September of 1991 on the Autumn Equinox, I went on my seventeenth Vision Quest with the purpose of completing some personal healing. Since 17 is my personal sacred number, I knew that my intent to reclaim the love would be honored. I had worked hard, prepared well, and earned the right to move forward. The rust that had gathered on my spirit from too much work and overextending myself had left me depleted and the magic of life had faded a bit. I had committed my love, time, and energy to helping everyone else and letting myself always be last. Consequently, I contracted cholera in April of 1991 and then double pneumonia in May. My body screamed, "No more!" I knew then that it was time to start reclaiming the love by committing to taking my Moontimes and days of silence that had been forgotten in my flurry of activity.
Posted May 18, 2009
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