35. Spiritual Ancestry

White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the People, and taught them as Jesus did. She taught the mystical, the spiritual, and the practical. And she left an assignment to continue her legacy.

Anytime I talk about religion, I feel compelled to mention that I do not have “one”.  

Oxymoron: a figure of speech where apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.  Am I devoutly nonreligious? That causes confusion.  The devout part is definitely true when standing alone.  I am not devout in being nonreligious, I am non religiously devout.

In the last couple of years, I have had the honor of stepping into the lineage of the Cherokee ancestors.  As I have studied and learned and cried with deep humiliation for my part in white ancestry. I have also embraced my connection to the same Great Spirit that has always been my God.  And with that has also been a grounding to this existence, being on this planet, a part of the intertwining of all life.

A Cherokee who lives in the Pacific Northwest, White Horse Woman, sought to teach her children and grandchildren the path of their elders, but they showed little interest in the ways of the medicine woman. Starfeather appeared, willing, excited, and ready to absorb a Truth that already ran through her veins.  

The ancestry evolves like this:  White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the People, and taught them as Jesus did.  She taught the mystical, the spiritual, and the practical.  And she left an assignment to continue her legacy.  Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren continued the practices and passed the teachings.  White Horse Woman is still living, but is close to transitioning from the planet.  Starfeather is her spiritual child.  And, in effect, I am White Horse Woman’s grandchild.  Anyone who learns a “native principle or teaching” from me, if we sat somewhere as I told the story of the dreamcatcher and we wove the threads on the cedar ring, that classifies you as White Horse Woman’s spiritual Great Grandchild.

“Sacred Buffalo” by Gretchen Del Rio, original watercolor, 2013

It’s a construct.  I made it up.  But I think it honors the tradition.  It honors the legacy of White Horse Woman.  It connects the ancestry; it connects the cultures.  There is a gift that is begging to be received. 

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

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