“Grandpa, tell me a story!” The nine year old drew his legs up to his chest, arms folded across just below the knees, and leaned against the side of the old native sun priest while feeing secure, equal. The old man smiled ever so softly at Stone Child, a rare young one raised as he had been, in the old ways. The Eagle, the old man’s name, enjoyed visiting the boy’s father as much for the chance to spend time with this young one, as for any ostensible reason for this frequent trip a few miles west of the reservation: whether to visit with Stone Child’s father concerning his considerable knowledge of the mysteries, gather sacred or medicinal herbs with him in this pristine wilderness location or just to say hello to one of his most valued friends and swap stories. The old man asked Stone Child “What is the season?”
Stone Child did not hesitate, “It is the ‘Moon of the Earth Spirits Determined Journey of Return.’” The old man was pleased. “So now, tell me which kind of story you are allowed to hear from me.”
Stone Child thought for a moment and then stated “How Life Happens.”
The old man began, “Ok, one time it happened like this…
“In the long ago, Man was at a great disadvantage to Woman. She could drop Man dead just by giving him a mean look.”
Stone Child’s eyes went wide. “So things weren’t too good for us. And it wasn’t good for Woman either because she depends on Man, and Man was getting kind of scarce. So Woman gathered herself and discussed what could be done about Man’s stupid stuff, this is what had kept getting us dropped dead. So Woman had her discussion with herself and she figured some things out...
“First Woman had to look at Man as different. Because Man is only half Man.”
Stone Child looked puzzled, something the old man noticed.
“What makes Man different is his father ‘Sun.’ Woman has always been only Earth” the look of puzzlement began to go out of Stone Child’s face “and she always knew how to live here in the correct way. Now, if Man would discover this, there would be no more stupid stuff and Woman would stop giving Man the mean looks. So here is what Woman figured out for Man.”
Stone Child listened intently to what followed.
“The Sweat Lodge is the gift of the Holy Woman to Man. In the long ago when Man became the guest of the feminine on this planet that is a Sacred Woman, he was given the Sweat Lodge to cleanse his body because he has no natural cycle as a child of the Sun. Also the Sweat Lodge gave him the Woman’s calendar from the Sun’s sacred sister (or wife), the Moon, to observe the cycle of the seasons. The primary law most importantly related to this is to always remember that for a man to harm a woman is to violate the sacred life giving hospitality that is holy, we can only harm our human spirit this way… and that is why we, as men, are never to be abusive to women or nature, and because we live our lives that way, the women gift us with the love and respect that is due to this sacred service we are here to perform.
“Our cycle of life is reflected in the sacred gifts we give to the holy relationship between the Sun and the Moon, it represents the responsible respect shown between brother and sister for the unmarried, and between husband and wife it is for those who love in that way. The yellow cloth is given to the southeast for the golden light that is the innocence of youth, always to be treated with only kindness, the red cloth is given to the southwest for the holy life-giving maturity of the sacred women that bear us, these are the people we protect, the blue cloth is given to the northwest that prepares us to be received by the sacred night sky that takes us in holiness at our end, because we have lived right, and the white cloth given to the Northeast is the clean environment of the souls received by the ancestors because we lived our lives responsibly according to these sacred teachings. In the old times these gifts of cloth would have been the four colors of the sacred paints and they also represent the colors of Man and the Seasons. The Red and the Blue, separately taken together, also are the Earth and the Sky, Woman, Man, and Marriage.
“The Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, also the other Planets, Comets and Meteors are the Gods in the sense of a metaphor that only states: ‘we are a part of everything that is, and everything that is, is embodied in us’… no differently than other animal forms, even the trees and the living stones are essentially people, no different than you or I, all are sacred expressions of the mystery of creation that manifests in everything, all reality is in some sense seen as a part of this dream of our existing. This dream is meant to be beautiful for us as the human people and we are to meant to live our lives in such a way that strives for a clean reality, to become all that is the best possible expression of the creation dreaming us: We are meant to manifest as a Beautiful People.”