Born 1878, Died 1982
"Grampa, I pray that I am worthy of the
Caretakership of 'the Ways' that you have placed in my trust."
~Jade Wah'oo Grigori
In 1974 I was
living the life of a nomadic Hunter-Gatherer in the Rocky Mountains of
Colorado. As late Autumn approached we, my Companion and her daughter,
and a few other a-horseback fellow travelers, began looking for a place
to establish our Winter Camp.
We had the fortune of meeting a woman, Lu Ann, with
whom we had an aquaintance in common. Lu Ann's land just happened to sit
in the midst of the Southern Ute Reservation in extreme Southern
Colorado. She offered us the Winter's use of her 40 acres to set up our
Camp and pasture our horses in exchange for the repair of her fences
around the acreage.
This done, I began hunting in the area, going up on the mesa to the
West, into Rinconada Canon a few miles North of our Camp, and exploring
the mesa set to the East, looking for sign of deer and elk throughout
this semi-arid desert land covered with pinon-juniper trees and, higher
up on the mesas, ponderosa pine. Wanting to gain a full picture of the
local game herds and their movement through their terrain required that
I also investigate the San Juan River bosque' to the South of, and over
a ridge from, our Camp.
As one does when hunting, I was up way before the first glimmer of dawn.
Stepping outside of my tipi into the early morning's darkness, my
prayers with the Earth Mother expressed, and permission asked to receive
one of her children, a deer perhaps, I set forth to climb the ridge and
head into the belt of cottonwood trees and riverside meadows which
comprise the bosque'. Upon my arrival on top of the ridge I began to
survey the river bottom below me in the false dawn's emerging light.
There at the foot of the ridge on the river side sat a cabin with the
smoke of a freshly laid fire rolling forth from the chimney. As is the
protocol when one lives in a sparsely populated area, I went down the
hill to the cabin to introduce myself and let whomever lived therein
know that I was living in the area.
By now the day was in full dawn. I knocked at the door. There was the
sound of someone shuffing around inside. After a few minutes the heavily
weathered wooden door opened a wide crack. An old man peered out at me.
He said nothing, so I explained to him that I had been out hunting, had
seen the smoke of his fire and had come to let him know that I was
living for the Winter, with my family, over the hill from him. Still the
old man said nothing. Seeing that he was indeed an old, old man, I then
asked him if there was anything I could do to help him out....bring him
some water from the river? chop some firewood for him?
With that offer, the old man smiled, a quirky little smile and a
blue-white silvery light shot from his eyes. Now, I grew up in a family
environment where we interacted with Spirits, and so I was no stranger
to the strange. This old man pointed out to the east side of his house
and said "You see that wood pile over there? You go chop it for
me." Well, I had asked! I split the juniper logs lengthwise and
then chopped them into length. Occasionally, when I stacked armloads of
the firewood under the overhang of his porch, there would be a glass of
water sitting there for me. As the day turned into afternoon I finished
breakiong down the stack of wood. The very last armload I carried
through the wooden door through a pantry/mud room and on into the
kitchen of the two room cabin. I set the firewood into a box on the left
side of a wood-fired cookstove. The old man motioned, right hand pulled
into a fist, thumb pointing up, slapping the bottom of his fist upon the
palm up and open left hand and then pointed to a chair by his kitchen
table. This hand sign I knew to be the universal Indian hand-sign
language for "Sit down." I sat.
More to come.....
The Art of Assisting Spirits in Transition
The Eagle of the North and the Condor of the South
A Day's Horse Ride in the Rockies
Deer as Power Animal Part I
Spirit's Desire and the Nature of Soul
Men in Balance
The Mythos of Consciousness
A Shaman's Dream
Earth Renewal Story
The Power of Sacred Objects
Shamanism in the 21st Century
Spirituality and Money
The Sweat Lodge Of The Great White Mother Bear
The Sweat Lodge Of The Great White Mother Bear II
Dance of the Animal Powers
Wolves Of Memory