Aho Matakuye O’yasin. Been a minute on the blog. Good thing the Lakota people unlike the good Vietnamese have no words for I’m sorry. When you see what we have upcoming, with regular sits, regular Ceremonies and an extended retreat weekend in June, you will be Happy. And I hope you consider coming out to visit. There are three or four or more stories to tell of recent travels, and so by April the 2019 Spring class and retreat season will commence. That said, Spring has indeed sprung, with the vernal equinox occurring Wednesday at 5:58 pm and confirmed by the arrival of the Wakinyan. The Thunder Beings Booming over the house recently and shaking the land to life.

There’s a scientific reason that lightning wakes up the natural world: the Earth’s atmosphere is nearly 80 percent nitrogen and the intense heat (about 50,000 degrees F.) generated by an abrupt, discontinuous natural electric discharge in the atmosphere aka lightning breaks the strong bonds of nitrogen molecules. This allows the freed nitrogen to combine with oxygen and rainwater to form nitric acid. When this falls to earth and combines with soil minerals, plant-fertilizing nitrates are produced. Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado estimate that globally, thunderstorms can produce 30 to 175 billion pounds of nitrogen annually. Plants require nitrogen for healthy plant tissue and leaf growth, so grasses do turn noticeably greener after early spring thunderstorms.

There’s also the spiritual side to the whole happening. Imagine if you lived in nature, depending upon the natural world for your own survival. The most fearsome nature spirit or power you could face would that of lightning or the Thunderbirds. These powerful sky spirits of Lakota mythology take the form of a giant bird, with wings that make the sound of thunder and eyes that shoot lightning. No man has ever seen their lair. That first loud, explosive clap and subsequent deep, long, rolling rumble always send me into song. And if you come to Ceremony this Spring or Summer, you’re going to hear it. It’s a Good One. I was moved as I always am and that same day found this bit below on the lighting of sweetgrass and the healing of the people. Pilamaye (with thanks) to Šúŋkawakȟáŋ Tȟó (Blue Horse).

The elders tell us that it takes longer for us to heal today and the reason is because the old trails our ancestors used to use to find us have been destroyed. by colonialism, assimilation, manifest destiny, and ethnic cleansing, towns and cities where the old trails used to be...so now our ancestors are having a hard time finding us to help us Heal. So we must burn sweetgrass~ a kindness medicine...with a sweet gentle aroma when we light it. 21 strands to make a braid..the first 7 strands represent those 7 generations behind us~ Our parents, Our grandparents 7 generations behind us~who we are and what we are is because of them~they've brushed and made the trails we have been walking up til now...the trails have been destroyed. The time has come to heal and connect with our ancestors. They paid a tremendous price for us to be able to speak out against injustices, therefore we do not have the right to remain quiet.

The next 7 represent the 7 sacred teachings... Love, Respect, Honesty, Courage, Wisdom, Truth and Humility. The elders tell us how simple, powerful and beautiful the teaching are. Love: unconditional affection with no limits or conditions that starts with loving yourself. Respect: due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of other, with consideration, thoughtfulness, attentiveness, politeness, courtesy, civility, deference. Humility freedom from pride or arrogance, being humble, when we truly understand the teaching of humility, that we are not any better then anyone else and you are not any better then me. that at the end of the day we are simply human beings, this is what makes this teaching powerful and beautiful. Courage:bravery, permitting one to face extreme dangers with boldness withstanding danger, fear or difficulty  Wisdom:the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment the quality of being wise. Truth: the face of the matter, veracity, sincere, candor and genuineness  a determined in principle entirely by how it relates to things Honestly:have a character of integrity, and honor be free from fraud or deception, legitimate, truthful.

The last 7 strands are those of the 7 generations in front of us~ Our children Our grandchildren as well as those children yet to be born. It is important because everything we do to Mother earth will one day effect them... We have lost our way, everything we do to Mother Earth gives us everything we need to heal ourselves and the earth. We must go back to our roots and bloom.  "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children These teachings need to first start from within ourselves, respecting ourselves, they tell us that the teachings need to first start from the inside. So in the morning you /we burn Sweetgrass, we can get a white or yellow cloth (1 meter) with Tobacco: hang it on a tree facing the east direction.  This should be done in the morning and not at night. Lest us never forget we are the whispered prayer our ancestors prayed. They Are Waiting For Us.