1 (edited by Athenais 2007-03-26 23:07:57)

Topic: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

This is from the book Voices of Our Ancestors: Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire by Dhyani Ywahoo.

Tsalagi Elo - our philosophy, our oral tradition - tells how the Principal People, the Ani Yun Wiwa, originated in the star system known as the Pleiades, whence first arose the spark of individuated mind.

From the mysterious void came forth a sound, and the sound was light, and the light was will, intention to be, born of the emptiness: "Creator Being," fundamental tone of the universal song, underlying all manifestation.  Compassionate wisdom arose as will perceived the unmanifest potential of mind streaming forth.  Will and compassion together gave birth to the fire of building intelligence, and thsu was formed the sacred triangle from which all matter is derived, the Three in One.  It is a mystery, we say.

The first "thought beings," tla beings, carriers of mind's pure light, existed like cells in one body, of one mind and purpose:  to explore the mysteries of mind.  Coalescing along twelve vortices of activity, elemental lines of energy or force, mind took form, the One became the many.  Star Woman fell to Earth, opening the way for star beings to manifest upon Earth the light of pure mind.  The Three Elder Fires precipitated the planets and the animals, while the people were the dream children of the angels, their dreaming arising with the primordial sound.

The twelve original tribes of the Tsalagi Nation each exemplified a particular vortex of activity, a particular creative energy, all moving cohesively together.

Tribe                            Activity/Energy

1         Quality of will.  Crystal caretakers, maintaining clear thought and rituals to keep form in order.  Timekeepers, drummers.

2         The healers, caretakers, high teachers; the Peace Chief who never sheds blood.

3         Those with understanding of sacred geometry and astronomy, watchers of the skies, giving instruction on proper building.

4         Masons, builders of the form shaped by the Three.  Local administrators, responsible for good clan and community relations.  Craftspeople, creating objects of beauty for prayer, contemplation, and utility.

5         The scientists, mastering and teaching the wisdom of particulars; observing patterns and possible futures.

6         Great caretakers of the temples and holy gardens where the sacred food is grown for the communities.  Kepers and manifesters of the ritual form.

7         Sacred warriors, warring on ignorance; the shakers, transformers, life force makers; guardians of correct action.

8         Ambassadors with other realms, having access to consciousness (this the Ani Gadoah are particularly known for, with their great accessibility to other realms).  Planetary understanding; assisting in planetary weather system, distributing energy for the benefit of all beings.

9         Communicating with stars, creating inventions for clear communication.  May bring forth new plants to feed the people.  Expressing a more ethereal manifestation of the conscious building seen in the third line of force.  Magnetizers, world shapers.

Of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth lines of force we do not speak, for their function is beyond words; it cannot be cognized.

These star people came to Earth in Elohi Mona, five islands in the Atlantic Ocean, later known as Atlantis.

Before the star people came there were great waters upon the land, and male and female still existed in one body.  There was emotional nature but not yet the mind to actualize and complete the intention of Earth being a place of learning, a place of dreaming what is good.  So the purpose of individuation of mind and the descent from the stars was to quicken life upon the Earth.  The star energy came to spark the fire of mind, that all might return again to the Mystery.  The human being is much like the salmon; we all come forth from the lake of clear mind; we swim out into the ocean of experience, with its many lessons and opportunities and illusions - and as the salmon finds again the stream that leads it back to its spawning ground, so too must human beings find and follow the stream that will bring them again to the clear vast light.

The star children, the Sacred Seven, primary energizers, were greeted by the Children of the Sun, already living upon the Earth, in the Americas.  They had been attuned, through crystal and sound, to receive the inpouring of pure mind carried by the star beings.  The Sun Children were the true Earth people, in that they first experienced individuated mind while on Earth, as the dream children of the star beings.  The first to come forth from the Pleiades were the Adawees, great angelic beings; in contemplating form, in dreaming, they precipitated the Earth and its peopling in concordance with the great principle of creation.  It is taught in this way that all human life originated in the Americas, whereas the Sacred Seven originated as seeds of pure mind in another star system.

That the seed of pure mind might become firmly rooted upon the Earth, it was decided by the Adawees, the Seven Before the Throne on High, that those who came from the stars were to marry and bring forth children with the Children of the Sun, and that at some time those of Earth would come to full ascendancy.  It was known that in this process there would be periods of great travail and confusion until there was clear recognition of mind, that sacred fire burning bright within all people.

What we see today is that prophecy come true.  Those who believe in the primacy of matter seek to manipulate and curtail the fire of clear mind and spirit.  Ming of separation, mind of domination, these have birthed genocide of Native peoples throughout the world, the Inquisition and the Nazi holocaust in Europe, the destruction of lands, cultures, and peoples in Asia, and the invention of weaponry with power to kill all people on Earth twenty times over.  In the Tsalagi teachings such great sufferings are seen as unnecessary.  They are the result of pride, the idea that one is better or more important than another.  In reality, in the circle of right relationship, there is no above and no below, no in or out; all are together in the sacred circle.

Thus the Sacred Seven intermarried with the Children of the Sun, the Earth people.  Their descendants in North America are the Tsalagi, Creek, Choctaw, Yuchi, and other Red nations of the southeastern United States, each nation having a particular function in the hoop of life.

The islands and civilization of the Elohi Mona were eventually destroyed through the arrogance and ignorance of those who abused the sacred power, seeking to enslave others.  Through lust and grasping, a few carriers of the starseed became enmeshed in the material world; instead of seeking to educate and enlighten, they sought to manipulate and oppress.  Such thought forms were antagonistic to the very elements holding the people and the islands together.  The form would no longer hold them, for they went against the sacred law, which is cohesive.  Thus over a ten-thousand-year period the islands began breaking up and the great migrations of the people began.  It is in this way that give of the original twelve tribes were lost and their seed dispersed throughout the remaining seven tribes (or "types" of people).  From these seven tribes many people in North America today can trace some affinity to the Tsalagi Nation.

The people found their way through South and Central America and eventually met with people living in what is now called the Four Corners area.  There were many migrations.  Similarities in Native languages throughout the Americas are indications of common origins and meetings.  Before the coming of the Europeans, just in North America alone there were over 587 different Native nations and languages; in the 1600s there were some sixty million Red people in what is now called the United States.  Now there are perhaps two million.  This is the result of deliberate genocidal destruction of life, land, language, science, art, religion - a result of people ignoring or fighting the natural wisdom light, forgetting that all humans are relatives and that we all are to care for one another and for our mother, the Earth.

In the course of the many migrations people settled in groups in different places, yet their common roots may be known and honored.  Long ago the Tsalagi and the Iroquois were one people, for example, and in the Tsalagi language the root stock, Algonquin, is still discernable.  Tsalagi and Maya once shared the same religious practices; the Mayan seed and nobility was of the star people also.  The two peoples diverged over the Aztec imposition of rituals and blood sacrifice opon the peaceful religion and way of life of the Principal People.  Such practices were not part of the original teaching, and much of the community of spiritual relationship and exchange among these people ended when the Aztecs "conquered" the Mayans.

Thus the mound builders, the temple keepers of the Americas, trace their migrations to the land of Elohi Mona.  In North America they built a strong creative culture and civilization, from the southeastern to the southwestern parts of the present United States up into Canada.  The mound society, or temple society, was composed of four levels of people.  The Sun People were the rulers, in that they very clearly manifested the light of clear mind for the benefit of all; then there were the nobles, the average people, and the "stinkards".  The stinkards were those who may not have honored the clarity of mind or allowed the fire to burn brightly; they probably did the work of butchering, tanning, and so on.

That all future generations might be infused with clear mind, all Sun People were required to marry stinkards, ensuring that the spark of wisdom fire would move throughout all levels of the people.  This sacred purpose is still honored today in the manner in which the Ywahoo lineage is passed.  There was once a family bloodline that amassed great power; they were magicians who abused the rights of the people, who then rose up and scattered and destroyed them.  Thereafter it was decided that the lineage would pass, not to first daughter or son, but to appropriate family member, in-law, or one adopted into the family.  The lineage was passed in this way from Eli Ywahoo to his son-in-law Eonah Fisher, my grandfather.  So it is that the holy duty to instill light continues to be fulfilled.

The temple society existed before the time of Christ.  When De Soto arrived in the Mississippi Valley and found the beauteous and clean cities of the Tsalagi, he sought their wealth and captured their female leader.  The average mound-building city had no more than 18,000 to 25,000 inhabitants (except during ceremonial times, when all people came) because it was considered very important that no area be overburdened.  While the decline of the sun temples began with the coming of the Europeans, the theocracy continued until the forced removal of the 1830s.  The existing temples continued to be maintained until that time, although no new ones appear to have been built after the Conference of the Elders preceding the first hell in A.D. 1531.  Some Tsalagi continued to keep the old ways, even into the present.  They became the Kituwa Society and the Etowah Band, and some small traditional communities in Oklahoma.

When I was a young child listening to our elders speak about the true history of North America, I stood with my feet firmly planted to the ground, in the now, and realized that they were speaking great truths.  I thought it odd that others did not know or understand or believe these truths; even today I think it odd.  This true history will emerge again and be known by all.  There are Native scholars now studying and recovering our history, and ancient documents and books of our people, stolen from this land, are preserved in the archives of the Vatican and Spanish museums, taken there by those who feared revelation of the magnitude of the destruction they had wrought.  When our elders spoke of these things there was never bitterness or blame as they expressed the brutalization and genocide committed upon the Native peoples.  They were simply stating what had occurred, that the truth might be known.

Our elders also told me that long before the white men made their first appearance upon the shores of Turtle Island, other visitors had come.  In the great long time ago, the Black people came from Africa; they came to visit, to look, and they also came to conquer - but they found people who were self-empowered and without a need for domination, and so they were unable to conquer.  Also, they were turned aside by the energy of the Uk-kuk-a-duk, or Ukdena, the great dragons that used to protect this land, who have now moved into another dimension.

The connection between these dragons and the mind of humans is significant for our understanding in these changing times.  The dragons were energy moving in the wave pattern of Earth's energy.  They used to follow the will of the great medicine people who, with certain crystals, would call them to turn aside dangerous activity and thus protect the people.  The medicine people became too few to give them proper guidance, and the dragons became weaker and weaker; many were tied into the mountains, and the intelligent ones vibrated themselves into another dimension.  The last dragon was seen in the Smoky Mountains in the 1700s.

Basically, the dragon is the unconscious of all nations, the untamed energies of anger and fear, waiting to be called into the light of clear thought.  Until people awaken to their own minds, the dragon appears to be dangerous; when emotions are tamed, the dragon becomes a winged angelic being.

So it is not the dragon that is evil, and known one's true power and the movement of clear mind in one's own being is not evil.  Evil is thoughtless action, evil is what causes harm to others.  Evil begins in the heart of ignorance and the desire to dominate.  So we teach the young ones that nothing is above or below; the leader and the community are ever in a reciprocal relationship.  Our most sacred teachers, our most sacred leaders, they are like a walking stick; they steady the people who are like the body holding the walking stick, so they find safe passage, yet they are guided along by the people themselves.  The Six Nations Confederacy is based upon this concept of leadership, and it was borrowed from the teachings of the Peacemaker for the writing of the U.S. Constitution.  It would be well for us to search within our hearts again for the true meaning of leadership and right relationship.  A leader is not to dominate; a leader is to guide like a walking stick, that the nations and all the people may move firmly on the road of good relations.

The history of North America as written by non-Natives is incomplete, for it is written by those who think they are conquerors.  The conqueror is the person who looks outside himself to make order rather than making clear his own mind; therefore, all that he sees and speaks is based on the lies of pride and confusion.  The Native people, particularly the Tsalagi people, had a philosophy and a written language probably before the people of Europe were emerging from their caves.  The calendar of the Americas is the oldest calendar in the world and one of the most accurate.  The first people to understand the significance of zero were the Native American people, through careful meditation and observation of the universe.

Medicine was and still is a very highly developed art among the Native people; ninety percent of the world's pharmacopeia is derived from the medicines of the Red people of the western hemisphere.  And over 130 of the foods that are eaten around the world were first cultivated in the Americas; in the Land of the Hummingbird, the Amazon basin, and in the high Andes Mountains, that is where it began.  Corn, tomatoes, beans and squash, all of these things originated here.  People tended gardens.  Even now in various Native American nations different types of sacred corn, beans, and squash seeds are kept until the appropriate people come to plant them, care for them, and distribute them to others.  In the traditional way of life gardens were a ceremonial event for all, an opportunity to give to the Earth as well as receive.  The seeds of good food are also the seeds of good relationship, so caretaking the garden is symbolic of caretaking all beings.  The garden can be an offering to all.

Native relgion is a whole way of life, based on everything being in relationship.  The sacred rituals are to maintain harmonious balance of the energy currents of sun, moon, Earth, the entire universe, so that the seed's bounty can be brought forth.  Contemplating this orderly, harmonious universe, ten thousand years ago our ancestors here in the Americas were able to develop a mathematics and an astronomy that reached the highest level.  These are things that archaelogists are beginning to learn only now.  And it is good that these truths be rediscovered and made known, for the wisdom of our ancestors is a gift to all the children of the Earth, that we, too, may be wise and generous in creating a good future for those not yet born.

To this very day the sacred fire of the Tsalagi peolpe still burns, rededicated by the Pale One and tended by the people for thousands of years.  The Tsalagi and the Hopi are the keepers of the sacred fire in this hemisphere.  The fire has burned as long as the people have existed; it has never gone out.  It was carefully tended and carried even during the Trail of Tears.  That fire is the breath of life, it is the manifestation of pure mind, it is the clear ligth of things in their essential truth.  The fire is the strength of the people, a symbol of the wisdom fire carried here from the Pleiades.  Its significance, the fact that it has kept burning, is the energy that has kept this planet intact.  Scientists still cannot explain fire.  It is the Mystery made manifest, it is the stirring of thought into action.  In recent years, from the main Tsalagi fire other fires have been lit.  It is very beneficial to all of us that htis fire is being kindled and tended in other places, for it is a spark of our pure nature, recalling us to enlightened action.  That fire of clear mind is in everyone, and to remove any obscurration of its clarity is the duty of all people in this time, that each one may remember and find our way again to the source of our being.

We are the temple keepers.  Our priestcraft went underground in the 1800s and families have been keeping the sacred wisdom for this moment, when all people choose to be reunited as human beings dedicated to peace.  So now we speak again of the sacred craft, weaving a tapestry of beauty.  Each one carries the seed of truth; our shared life is the garden in which to plant and bring it forth.

The sacred teachings of the Tsalagi people encompass a 100,000 year time period, during which there have been four great upheavals of Earth's life forms.  The first was a change of direction in Earth's rotation and polarity, caused by a large comet and its attendant radiation destroying and mutating many life forms.  The second change was brought about by intense winds arising from people's confused thought and action, destroying the Earth's mantle.  It was during the second change that beings who were once male and female in one body separated into different entities, and are even now looking for their other halves.  The third change was due to volcanic action stirred by the destruction of Earth's sister planet that once dwelt between Mars and Jupiter.  The volcanic action forced humans to live beneath the ground for generations, subsisting on transparent fish and fungi.  The fourth change was wrought by water as the human types sought to integrate emotion and mind power.  This was the time of destruction of Atlantis, Elohi Mona, and during this age only those who heeded the voice of truth within were able to avoid destruction by reaching the high places.  According to Tsalagi time-keeping we are now in the Fifth World, the ninth and final stage of purification, and entering the Sixth World, the time of reintegration of the people and the land.

So at this moment we are on the threshold of a new world.  According to the ancient calendar of the western hemisphere, on August 16, 1987, we leave the last cycle of nine hells, and on August 30, 1987, we enter the first of the new cycle of thirteen heavens.  This calendar is most accurate; it considers the movement of Venus, Mars, and the Earth around the sun, and Sirius and the Pleiades.  These star systems give forth a crystal voice singing throughout all worlds, reminding us to come again to the circle of right relationship.  Star songs call forth a vision of peace, the morning star a reminder of the Peacemaker's promise that all may trace their roots to the Great Tree of Peace.  Just as seed grows fruitful when planted by the star's signs, so the seed thought of planetary peace has taken root.  May it sprout through all heavens.  May each one cultivate caretaker mind, caretaking one another and the Earth herself.  Let us each consider our actions unto seven generations.  Thus a new age begins.

Human beings have the opportunity to exercise the creative power of intellect.  Some of men's inventions have gone astray and run wild; such inventions as armaments and pollutants threaten the existence of life.  Just as these inventions arise first as destructive thoughts of control and domination, so may your mind give birth to creative means of reconciliation and transformation.  You make a difference.  Know that they very thing which disturbs your mind's peace offers opportunity to generate clear mind and transform patterns of disturbance for all.  Replace your anger with care; defuse potential destructive energy by clarifying conflicts in your own mind and relationships.  By the force of resonance that clarification will expand through your individual relationships to your family and neighborhood, to the nation and the planet.

A new day arises, spawned by our thoughts and deeds - seed thoughts of peace moistened by love, tilled by right action, weeds of discord pulled by diligent action.  The harvest shall be abundant joy sustaining future generations.  The first heaven opens the gates for all who will cultivate enlightened action.

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

I surfed around for more information about this book and author and found some things that may be of interest:

The Book Corner:

   Here's a story about a special book that involves past speakers.   October 2004  Ivan McBeth spoke to us. He told us about a Cherokee Elder who changed his life when she taught him a special dance.   We were reminded of it, again, at Ivan, Jan and Pete's Stone Circle Workshop, July 2005, when we did the dance every morning.

     When I got home, the name of Ivan's teacher --- Dhyani Ywahoo --- sounded familiar.   In the pile of books that I brought home from Vermont this summer, there it was:  "Voices of Our Ancestors" by Dhyani Ywahoo.   Searching for more information it seems that Dhyani Ywahoo is a Cherokee Elder AND a Buddhist!  AND a Spiritual Director --- in --- Vermont!   This certainly bears further scrutiny.

       The next mind opener came courtesy CoasttoCoast Radio and William Henry.  William, our September 2004 speaker was the guest on C2C,  September 21st.   Here's what they say:

       " Symbols of Atlantis: Investigative mythologist William Henry  returned to discuss the symbols and lore of Atlantis. "It was the end and beginning of all myths," he said of the fabled continent. Plato believed the high civilization was started by gods, but when its citizens lost their "divine essence" they were destroyed by intentional cataclysms.

      " Henry suggested that these gods, might have been the "thought beings of light" written about by Dhyani Ywahoo, in her book Voices of Ancestors, which documents Cherokee Indian creation myth. These light beings were said to come from the Pleiades and were called tla, which Henry related to the word tula, an ancient name for Atlantis.

     "The horrifying collapse of New Orleans give us a glimpse of what Atlantis might have looked like during its demise, which could have happened quickly or occurred over decades, said Henry. He agrees with Dr. Paul LaViolette’s theory that Atlantis was destroyed by a "galactic superwave" which originated from the center of the galaxy and may have triggered unusual solar activity. He also discussed how the symbol for Atlantis resembles a vortex or wormhole. For more info, see William's article The Stargate of Atlantis. He also discussed the 'One-Footed Snorkel Monster,' case. "


Online Reviews about the book are divided:  2/3 love her work,  1/3 call her a new age fraud, that the tribe she says she comes from does not exist and that she does not express Cherokee teachings.

From the Net:

Dhyani Ywahoo tells us that the forebears of the Cherokee came from the Pleiadians to Atlantis, where they lived until its final destruction. When their homes sank into the ocean, they escaped to this continent.  The Cherokees' advanced mathematical skills, detailed knowledge of astronomy, and legends of their sources of power reflect the wisdom and accomplishments of their ancestors. Cherokee medicine people utilized crystals to capture and manage earth's energy for their protection. Ywahoo describes this positive energy issuing from forceful dragons the Cherokee called Ukdena. Ancient sacred rituals help these descendants of Pleiadians from Atlantis maintain a harmonious balance of power from the sun, the moon, the earth, and the universe. The Cherokee grew bountiful crops and lived happily for an untold number of years in the Southern US. When western civilization encroached, the number of Cherokee medicine people decreased, the shamans lost the dragon power, and their beneficial relationship with the energy currents of the universe disappeared...

It is not surprising that Tibetan Buddhism should be embraced by Native American practitioners – the similarities in cultural and shamanistic practices suggest that the two groups might well have drifted off into different continents at some prehistoric time but never quite lost their physical or spiritual resemblance. Both traditions emphasize peace and peaceful relations with the earth.


And since I happen to like mandalas (especially Native American ones) I checked hers out:


Beauty Way Productions

I'm seeing some connections here with Lipstick's Dragons vs Reptilians thread and Montalk's Double Infinity thread and Kahn's The Secret vs the Buddha thread.  Not sure what it all means (if anything), though.  Hmmm.

Other related links for anyone else interested (besides me):

Sunray Meditation Society

Turning the Wheel (see Chapter 4, Page 165)

Hope you don't mind my musing here, Athenias.


Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

lilmomma wrote:

Hope you don't mind my musing here, Athenias.

Muse all you want.  smile  It sounds sort of like she is implying that her family was part of a secret society within the Cherokee people, so maybe they guarded teachings that others were not privy to.  It is hard to sort out what is authentic because so most native teachings have been "christianized".  Many people embraced the beliefs of their conquerors, so traditions diverged.  I'd like to know what sort of people claim that she is a fraud.  The idea of man descending from the stars is not going to be comfortable for those who believe in the bible.

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

I'd like to know what kind of people are doing the criticizing as well.  I'm part Cherokee, so I'm always interested in reading what the original beliefs of my 'people' were.

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

Lono I'm sure it's the same people criticizing as always very religious and very science based people. If you look at the work of Maxwell and Tsarion you can find much evidence in the bible that there is ET stuff going on with the human race and through the human race. You just have to read it the right way. Maxwell's lecture called the Sons of God is really good at doing this. So people can say my belief system doesn't allow for any of this but a lot of times it is in their belief system they just don't know it.

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

Well, here’s one sample of a negative review from Amazon:

Joan Touzet wrote:

Caveat lector!, November 29, 1999

Once again, we have a situation where a white person is claiming to be something she is not. Ms. Ywahoo is *not* on the Dawes rolls, and is not a member of any recognized tribe of Cherokee Native Americans. Her teachings do NOT meld with any of the antiquities which have survived over the years from Cherokee ancestry - crystals and flame medidations of the type she describes are NOT part of essential Cherokee spirituality.

In a recent discussion I had with Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee Nation, she mentioned that Ms. Ywahoo has been "a thorn in the side of the Nation for many years now." While some of the new-age concepts Ms. Ywahoo puts forth are interesting, peaceful, and appealing for their purity of thought, this book is NOT A REPRESENTATION OF TRADITIONAL CHEROKEE BELIEFS. For more information on the true spiritual history of the Cherokees, I highly recommend the Mooney books written at the turn of the 20th century.

Oh man.  There are SO many things wrong with that I don't even know where to begin.  Here's what my response would be to this commenter if I was asked, which I wasn’t smile.

Once again, we have a situation where a white person is claiming to be something she is not. Ms. Ywahoo is *not* on the Dawes rolls

Whether or not she’s registered on the Dawes Rolls is immaterial as it does not necessarily preclude her from being Cherokee and it certainly does not automatically make her “white”. 

Side note: To me, that’s the equivalent of telling someone here in Canada that they can’t be an Indian because they don’t have a treaty card (although this is a common occurrence even if the person is obviously of visible descent).  Please. roll  Over the years, treaty rights could be “lost” in any number of ways.  Here, let me count them.  1. If an Indian woman married a non-Indian man then she lost her status and was no longer considered to be Indian, nor were her children or her children’s children.  2. If an Indian man joined the armed forces then he lost his status, as did his children and so forth.  3. For a one-time paltry sum anyone could sell their status back to the government thereby giving up their rights and those of their progeny.  Need I go on?  There’s a massive can full of big fat worms here and I’d rather not pull the lid off of it completely.  Anyway, I’m sure a little homework would reveal that much the same has happened with the Cherokee nation throughout their history and that it likely continues happening to this very day.  But I digress.

and is not a member of any recognized tribe of Cherokee Native Americans.

Recognized by whom?  A government that owes exorbitant amounts of monies deriving from claims related to land, water, minerals, mistreatment, etcetera and etcetera?  *shoves more worms back in the can and snaps the lid on tight*

Her teachings do NOT meld with any of the antiquities which have survived over the years from Cherokee ancestry - crystals and flame medidations of the type she describes are NOT part of essential Cherokee spirituality.

Who could possibly know or say what didn’t survive?  Are there meditations of this type that differ from the ones she described that ARE part of Cherokee spirituality?  Is it possible that some things remained hidden?  Who decided what was essential?

In a recent discussion I had with Wilma Mankiller, former chief of the Cherokee Nation, she mentioned that Ms. Ywahoo has been "a thorn in the side of the Nation for many years now."

Ms. Mankiller sounds like a formidable woman and appears to be quite capable of speaking for herself.  There could be many reasons for her to make a comment such as this in private conversation (if in fact she did) and without knowing the context in which it was spoken the statement can only be rendered moot.  I feel I should note here that I was unable to find any record of Ms. Mankiller speaking out publicly against Ms. Ywahoo after an albeit brief search.  What I did find was the following:

In 1969 the elders of Dhyani Ywahoo's Tsalagi/Cherokee group decided to release teachings that have been kept in secret since the conquest.

Through books, lectures and workshops, Dhyani Ywahoo is disseminating that knowledge. She claims that her own Ywahoo lineage was founded by a legendary prophet called the Pale One who rekindled the sacred fires throughout the Americas.

She says: "The Pale One is a cyclically incarnating being. He comes when the people have forgotten their sacred ways, bringing reminders of the Law, recalling all to right relationship. He is expected soon again, and he may be alive even now. It is good."


“The elders decided”.  Not the chiefs.  Also worth noting here is the ongoing involvement of the elders with the Sunray spiritual centre. 

While some of the new-age concepts Ms. Ywahoo puts forth are interesting, peaceful, and appealing for their purity of thought, this book is NOT A REPRESENTATION OF TRADITIONAL CHEROKEE BELIEFS.

Athenias already addressed the concept of what constitutes “traditional beliefs” in her response above.  I need say no more. 

For more information on the true spiritual history of the Cherokees, I highly recommend the Mooney books written at the turn of the 20th century.

I do not doubt the veracity of Mr. Mooney’s works.  I do question whether he would be privy to full and complete disclosure of Cherokee history and beliefs.  And I find it ironic that this all began with a derogatory comment about a white person and ends with a recommendation for a white (in this case, Irish) person.


There’s been a similar response to a book and author from my neck of the woods called Cry of the Eagle: Encounters with a Cree Healer.  The following review only hints at the amount and level of controversy its raised:

David Young, Grant Ingram, and Lise Swartz, Cry of the Eagle: Encounters With a Cree Healer. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989.

Review by James B. Waldram

The authors of this impressive volume state very clearly at the outset that "this book is an account of what a Cree medicine man was able to express to outsiders about the way he perceives the world and how he attempts to transform his vision into action" (p. vii). Such a disclaimer is absolutely essential in a work of this sort, for two basic reasons. First, anthropology has had a long tradition of appropriating cultural knowledge and creating so-called "experts" out of the anthropologists. The new wave emphasis in the discipline toward a "post-modernist" approach disavows any pretence of ethnography as authoritative emic accounts of culture. Second, the authors clearly appreciate the immense diversity of the knowledge and practices of Aboriginal healers, both within and across cultural boundaries. This volume is about the world view of one particular Cree healer, and no suggestion is made that this world view is representative of the Cree as a whole.

The authors have worked for many years with the healer, Russell Willier, including an attempt to demonstrate the efficacy of his treatment for psoriasis according to biomedical standards. This volume adds a new dimension to their work with Willier, by providing a much broader understanding of his traditional medical knowledge. Furthermore, the volume offers the reader a more personal insight into the relationship between the anthropologist and the respondent. The occasionally stormy, yet respectful, relationship is detailed in a number of instances, especially in a chapter detailing the experiences of one of the authors (Ingram) who lived with the Williers for some time. When the Williers request the opportunity to read the anthropologist's notes, they are disturbed to find that he has recorded things that "were none of his business," whereupon he comes to be viewed as a "spy" by at least one member of the family. Yet this incident is tempered by an even more intimate discussion by Young of how Willier treated his seriously ill wife, presented as one of two case studies in the volume. That an anthropologist such as Young would put such trust in the healer is extraordinary, and this fact alone does much to validate the knowledge and skills that Willier possesses.

According to the authors, Russell Willier believes he has been "called" to lead a revitalization of Indian medicine and culture by demonstrating its relevance to the non-Indian world. It was for this reason that Willier allowed the anthropologists to document both his healing practices and the spiritual side of Indian medicine. Willier has been criticized by some Indian people for doing this; these critics believe that Indian medicine is only for Indians to know. The inevitable accusations of charlatanism have been leveled. Is Willier an authentic Indian healer? The question is moot, since Willier clearly practices his medicine and has many patients, both Indian and non-Indian. However, the fact that many Indian people believe that their medical systems should remain beyond the prying eyes of the scientists and other non-Indians remains pervasive today. That the authors were able to document one healer's activities is really quite remarkable given this fact. There are, to my knowledge, no other comparable contemporary discussions of Indian medicine in print. This is unfortunate, since if one goes back to the ethnographic literature of the early part of the century, it becomes clear that Indians were once very willing to share their knowledge with non-Indians. The legacy of a century of oppressive government policies is clearly the culprit in the reticence of Indian people to speak for the record of their medicine today.

This is a book that will spark controversy because of its content. Nevertheless, it is an extremely valuable source of useful information on Cree healing practices. As such, it would be valuable to all those in the medical field seeking a better understanding of an important, contemporary alternative to biomedicine. Those interested in medical anthropology, medical sociology and Native studies will also find it very useful. Indeed, perhaps all anthropologists should read this volume for the important methodological issues it raises. How the residents of Willier's reserve, and other Indians, feel about the volume is important, even essential, to understanding the future of research into Indian medicine. This question remains unanswered. 


But I suppose reactions like this are to be expected when it comes to revealing the ancient knowledge that books such as these contain.  And ALL this aside, I would like to hear more about the book itself, your impressions on it and/or your experiences with it.  Are you familiar at all with the Hopi Indians?  I wonder how deep the connections are between the two nations and how far they run.  (I think I’ll check my library for this book or see about getting my own copy).

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

I'm not on the Dawes roll!  Know why?  Because my ancestors DIDN'T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT and fled into the hills of Tennessee, where they married Irish folk (also reviled and hated).   As a result, my relatives avoided that genocidal travesty, the Trail of Tears, but they also lost touch with their roots.  But it's in the blood, not on a piece of paper.

"Oh, well if i can't read it on a piece of paper, it must not be true."  Typical 'white man' talk.


Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

lilmomma I was totally blown away by your post, you are really rocking it today!  big_smile  You broke all that down very nicely, all excellent points.

I have had this book for several years, and I can't even remember when or where I bought it.  I tend not to read books straight through, except for novels (and even then I can't resist peeking ahead).  Especially spiritual books, I just flip through them when the urge hits me.  But this one is one of my favorites, so I've probably read all of it at one time or another.  It rings true for me.  It's definitely a bit out of step with other Cherokee writings.  But I can't think of one statement in it that has ever given me a red flag.  Her writing is simple, clear, and direct.  I feel my consciousness expanding when I am reading it.  It hits home for me on many levels.  And looking at Dhyani's picture on the cover, I feel like I know her from somewhere.  The light shining in her eyes is really beautiful.

Throughout the book she shares meditations and exercises.  I haven't tried any of these so I can't really comment on them too much.  The last chapter is about working with crystals, and she does warn that it can be very dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. 

Many people today read about and have the good fortune to participate in Native American spiritual practices.  Unfortunately, people often misconstrue the directness and apparent simplicity of Native practice and ceremony, believing that they themselves can perform such ceremonies or practices.  The Native rituals of the pipe and the purification lodge and work with the sacred crysal, many of these deeper ceremonies and practices are meant for Native people who practice them in relationship with the sacred cycles of Earth and heavens that were given to them to maintain.  In these times the external trappings of these mysteries have become extrapolated into "New Age" practices for religious and social gatherings.  Such activities have harmful effects upon those who participate and also further denigrate and rape the wisdom of the Native people.  The teachings presented in this book are conveyed to clarify whatever misconceptions there may be about Native American wisdom and, most significantly, to rekindle the fire of wisdom in the hearts of all people, that we may plant seeds of good unto seven generations.  These crystal teachings are intended particularly to release some of the suffering caused by crystal misuse.  In that each crystal is of the Earth, the energies amplified by the crystal also affect the heart of the Earth.  May all those attracted to the "glamour" of the crystal cultivate the crystal-clear mind in though, word, and deed.

Lono I am part Cherokee too, from several generations back.  I think it was my grandmother's grandfather who was the son of a full-blooded Cherokee.  He was the first born child, conceived out of wedlock, and after that his mother married a white man.  So officially all the children were "white", and the family never acknowledged any Cherokee ancestry.  My granny was in denial about it for years, but to look at her she's clearly indian.  One time I saw her get pretty rattled at a family reunion because the other branches of the family pointed out (not meaning any harm of course) that her folks came from a different stock.  But she has finally come round lately to admitting that it's true. smile

belljar wrote:

So people can say my belief system doesn't allow for any of this but a lot of times it is in their belief system they just don't know it.

So true!

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

Athenais, I can remember being a very small child and watching my grandfather work in his garden.  In the summer, is skin would turn dark, dark, dark brown, and his complexion was dark, even during the winter.  I once proclaimed to my mother that "Grandpa is black!'  She could not convince me that he wasn't, because to me it was obvious. smile  Of course, I was just seeing the Cherokee in him, tanning very darkly in the sun without burning.

My mom's family has an interesting history.  My Grandmother's mother was full-blood Cherokee, and her father was Irish.  My grandfather's mother was Irish, and his father was Cherokee.  My mother's entire family has the high cheekbones and small, upturned Cherokee eyes, but their skin tones range from pale with freckles to dark and swarthy, and their hair ranges from bright red to black.  Very interesting mix.

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

"But I can't think of one statement in it that has ever given me a red flag."

I remember reading the book a long time ago and liking it, but it seems a lot of it was definitely the product of the author, and not long standing tradition.  Things like the chant to quartz mentioning "O aluminum dioxide" seem pretty suspicious, as I have a hard time believing the Cherokee/Tsalagi tradition has a formal understanding of the periodic table etc.

seeker of truth

follow no path
all paths lead where

truth is here

E.E. Cummings

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

Funny you should mention chemistry, limukala.  I was browsing around the forum while it was down and in a round-about way came across a Cherokee-related article that was, oddly enough, written by a chemist.

The Mystery of Zheng He and America

A 7-cm diameter plain brass medal with the inscription “Authorized and awarded by XuanDe of Great Ming” was unearthed several hundred miles inland from the American east coast.

In 1430, Ming Emperor Xuan Zong commissioned Zheng He to deliver a message to foreign nations that he was enthroned with a new era named Xuan De.   This was the whole purpose of the 7th and the last expedition for Zheng He. “Did Zheng He’s excursion reach east America? Or is there other explanation? The owner of the disk, Dr. Siu-Leung Lee, would like to present some interesting observations and leave the conclusion to the audience.

Ming emperors had a diplomatic protocol to announce enthronement and new era by sending gifts and medals to other nations. Xuan De (1426-1435) is the Nianhao (era) of Emperor Xuan Zong, the 5th emperor of Ming dynasty. In 1430, he dispatched Zheng He to announce his enthronement. The medal represented the highest authority of the emperor and was only delivered by a diplomat like Zheng He or his deputy. After Xuan Zong died, China isolated herself from the rest of the world for more than 400 years. Chinese started to come to America after 1850s as indenture labor mostly through the west coast to mine gold and build the railway.  Few Chinese came through this part of the east coast where the railway was built exclusively by slaves and convicts. Today, this little town of 9000 has 4 Chinese by US Census in Year 2000. This brass disk is minimally decorated with little monetary or artistic value to Chinese laborers and European missionaries, who are the other possible carriers of  items from China. This kind of medal should be more than one in those days, but they were usually collected, melted down and recycled by the next emperor. Those countries along Zheng He’s route all suffered from multiple wars. Items like this were easily lost in looting.

The brass medal was discovered under 4 inches of soil in a scantly populated area several hundred miles inland from the east coast of America. After almost 600 years, the medal shows no apparent signs of corrosion, other than a tight coating of soil. Preliminary analysis of the metal composition shows that the material is brass, a copper alloy with zinc. Xuan De was the era when brass first became available for making the famous Xuan De brass censers and coins.

The brass medal was unearthed at the center of Cherokee Indians’ homeland that became a major battleground with the first European settlers. Hundreds of Cherokee Indians were massacred in multiple battles.  1776, right after the American Independence, the US government offered land grant to the soldiers in lieu of monetary payment.  Cherokee’s homeland was given to the soldiers, resulting in another major conflict and massacre. Could they be the ones who lost the medal in the war? The Cherokee people were later driven more than a thousand miles away to Oklahoma in 1838-39 in a historical event known as the “Trail of Tears” during which thousands of Cherokee Indians died. During the colonial era, 90-95% of the Cherokee perished. But why was the medal found inland? Did they obtain it from other tribes near the coast? This traces to another story.

The coastal tribe Catawba is well known for making pottery. Every Catawba family has potters. Some of their pottery designs bear great resemblance to bronze censers made in Xuan De era. The Catawba and Cherokee tribes were rivalries but also traded with each other. Could the Catawba tribe be the first to contact with the Ming people?  Europeans, especially the English have been trying to reproduce the Chinese porcelain for ages without success. In 1712-22, a Jesuit missionary learned about the secret of Jingdezhen (China’s porcelain capital) and wrote two long letters back home. However, Europe still could not produce true porcelain for the lack of the knowledge to process white clay.  The first discovery of white clay was by Andrew Duché in America. Wedgwood, the founder of the first porcelain industry in England dispatched Thomas Griffiths to America to look for china clay.  By kidnapping the chief’s wife, he was led to the white clay pit by the Cherokee chief.  Tons of the white clay were shipped back to London to set up Wedgwood, the first porcelain factory in England. Even so, England’s porcelain was still not competitive against the Chinese imports during the entire 18th century. Yet, at the same time, pottery in North Carolina was made in Ming style by natives and new European immigrants.  What took China close to 10,000 years to perfect was not so easily learned even by the technologically adept Europeans at that time. How could the Neolithic Cherokee and Catawba Indians master this technology so well?  The most fascinating fact is the Cherokee term for china clay (kaolin) is “unaker”, similar to what Chinese call it “uk-nake”in southern dialect. Is it a coincidence?  All this happened before the arrival of the Europeans.  The name uk-nake was used up to Ming dynasty.  It was replaced by other terms like china clay.  A Jingdezhen porcelain expert said that Zheng He might have brought the clay bricks (petuntse or baidunzi) along with the porcelain gifts. 

The Cherokee people have two original flags, viz. one with a white background and the Bigger Dipper constellation in red that they called the peace flag. The war flag is reversed in color.  Observation of constellation has been a routine in China since ChunQiu era. A flag with the Bigger Dipper has been used as one of several flags in imperial ceremonial parade from Song dynasty to Qing dynasty. The Ming emperors were especially fond of the Big Dipper in association with their Daoist belief. Zheng He used an instrument Qian Xing Ban (Boards aligning with the stars) to calculate the latitude using the Polaris and the bigger Dipper. On the other hand, lacking a written language to record the celestial observations, the Cherokee people had no knowledge of other constellations on record.

According to the history of Ming dynasty, Zheng He died in India in 1433. But it has never been proven since his body could not be shipped back to China. Ming dynasty had significant advances in brass and porcelain. The brass medal is a specific case and pottery a general case. Could these clues change the history we have been told? More research is necessary.

A chemist by profession, Dr. Lee has been interested in Chinese culture in many aspects. In 1996, Dr. Lee founded the Asiawind.com website which hosts the world’s first Chinese calligraphy website and a Chinese antique website that drew attention to an inquiry about the medal. To many, this medal might be easily discarded as a piece of scrap metal.  Perhaps it is the combined knowledge of Chinese history, calligraphy and chemistry that allowed Dr. Lee to recognize the significance of this obscure brass plate.  Ironically, Dr. Lee lives in Columbus, Ohio, USA.

For further information, please contact: 
Siu-Leung Lee, PhD
SLLEE@ASIAWIND.COM     http://www.asiawind.com

Sourced from a link to a link on Matt's 1421 post.

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

I am Cherokee also, along with other stuff. I do have my "card" because one of my ancestors was on the Dawes and any other roll he could get on. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I "joined" to honor my ancestors but on the other I feel creeped out that he just signed on the dotted line. I would have headed for the hills ASAP. I am lucky enough to be able to trace my line-through the female-unbroken back to the ani-waya(wolf)clan.
I have an aunt by marriage who is undoubtly Cherokee but unable to have a card because her ancestors did the into the hills thing. I think it is grossly unjust to be denied a card based on your ancestors willingness to comply to a white mans game.
Since the Cherokee were willing-by and large-to conform to many of the white ways early on much of the traditions have been lost or are underground. Who is to say that these things have not survived and are being brought out into the open again?
The Cherokee Nation exists perhaps because of our ancestors willingness to go along. We have survived, but at what price? When I read the Cherokee newspapers the feeling I get is of people who claim one thing, but act another. The history of the Cherokee-as well as many other nations is filled with irony.

13 (edited by lilmomma 2007-04-11 12:41:26)

Re: Oral tradition of the Cherokee people

Just thought you all might appreciate this pic of the freckle-skinned, red-haired, pale-faced "indian" princess character from Eragon.


EDIT: Almost forgot that I also wanted to correct myself.

There’s been a similar response to a book and author from my neck of the woods called Cry of the Eagle: Encounters with a Cree Healer.

The healer is the subject of the book, not the author.