“I am Native American from the Omaha tribe in Nebraska. My Indian name means ‘shooting star.’ I wish the world knew that we do still exist. And, no, we don’t all live in tepees. When I see people in headdresses or Native American accessories, I feel disrespected. They don’t know the meaning behind it, how we wear it, or what we do to earn it. This is a real eagle feather. It doesn’t just fall off an eagle and someone says, ‘Oh, here — it’s yours.’ You have to earn it in my culture. I feel powerful when I wear it, more confident, and more connected to my ethnicity. I’ve never been embarrassed about being Native American. I take pride in it. I love how spiritual we are — it’s like we’re in tune with the Earth and the universe. I know there’s no other culture out there like mine.”
In order to talk about time more easily, Native American tribes
gave each full moon a name reflected what else was happening in the
One of the names for July’s full moon was “Thunder Moon,” named for
the storms that are so common on a summer afternoon or evening.
year, the Thunder Moon was at its peak fullness just after midnight
East Coast time Sunday morning, and during the nights surrounding it,
photographers caught incredible images of the full moon. Here are some
of our favorites. Read more (7/11/17)
The moon. Every witch keeps it in conscience. Nearly every religion seems to have something to say about it. In science, history, religion, even in architecture, the moon has come to show its importance and status. Babylonian astronomers in the 5th century BC recorded a lunar cycle, and back in 4th century BC, Chinese Astronomer Shi Shen created a guide regarding the prediction of lunar eclipses. Civilizations like the Han Dynasty thought the moon to be a driving force, while many Native American tribes associated it with female divinity. So, with all this in mind, how can we use and understand the positioning of the moon to better our witchcraft today?
First, we have to understand a lunation. A lunation is a roughly 30 day cycle, from new moon to new moon. The word moon actually comes from the word month. Ancestors used and understood the moon phases to tell time. Each phase lasts a few days to the naked eye, though the moon is really only in each phase for a brief second. It appears the moon stays in a certain phase due to the time buffer in which we on earth see the light. The New Moon represents the start of a new cycle.
So, exactly what does each cycle mean, and how does it correspond with the craft?
New Moon - The new moon is a time of new beginnings. The Sun and Moon are aligned, leaving the moon dark and invisible to our eyes on earth. It will also rise and set around the same time as the sun. It is a time to start new projects, jobs, friendships, and to seek new intentions. Starting a diet, trying to kick an old habit, or redecorating will all be made easier by the energy given by the New Moon. Wishing upon a New Moon is also a good way to bring in some luck.
Waxing Crescent - Also known as the ‘young moon,’ the crescent begins the move towards a full moon. A small, sliver shaped section of the moon is illuminated. Plans or goals that were made during the New Moon can be solidified and worked towards, and often clarified.
First Quarter - The first quarter moon is a small pause from the motivation and working to balance oneself out and discover possible mistakes and holes in plans and ideas we had made. Now is a time to focus and fine tune little things in your life. Meditation and introspective journeys are at hand.
Waxing Gibbous - Also known as the three quarter moon, the waxing gibbous is ¼ away from becoming the anticipated full moon. Spells for success and goal reaching work best, especially in relation to the project you’ve been working on. Think about positive spaces and constructive magic–bringing in money, romance, etc. If your project so far has failed, the Gibbous will help recharge it.
FULL MOON - The full moon. Esbat. Regarded highly as the best and most effective time to cast spells, lore and tales have surrounded the mysterious full moon for centuries. It is a time of heightened psychic awareness, in which everything comes together, including family, friends, plans, and ideas. In Wicca, the full moon is the mother’s moon, and in folklore, the full moon represents divine female power. Divining is especially powerful during a full moon. It is a perfect time to make Moon Water and to perform any exciting or lengthy spells you’ve been working on.
Waning Gibbous - As the waning begins, so does the shedding of old or toxic things in your life. Removing bad habits, curing illnesses, quitting bad jobs, ending addiction, or even breaking off relationships can be planned or started. This is also the time of the goddess Demeter.
Last Quarter - Continue banishing work here, especially focused on your emotions and negativity. Remember things you want to improve and save them for the upcoming new moon, but for now, simply make room for them.
Waning Crescent - The final waning phase before the start of a new cycle, now is a time to confront head on what is causing chaos in your life. A little hexing here and then, if such practice coheres with your beliefs, might just work out during this moon phase.
The moon tarot invokes the unconscious, introspect, and discovery. The face of the moon is half seen, symbolizing pregnancy and the mystery of the soul. The rays of light represent creation and power, and are a vital symbol of life. The animals, perhaps a wolf or dog, sit opposite of a river, mouths lifting to howl at the moon. This can represent the cutting of ties with someone close, and is especially poignant in the idea of hiding or forgetting ones ancestry. A crustacean sits in blue water at height of a pond, symbolizing hidden emotions and sensitivity. The water flowing towards the moon along with the crustacean and dogs rising towards it can be seen as a unity of self. The water at the bottom, where the crustacean sits, is drawn in by the moon, evoking female cycles, as well as passage from life to death and vice versa.
This will most likely be updated and added to, but for now, here this is! I hope this can help somebody out.
In a last-ditch effort to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, one of the Native American tribes directly affected by construction filed a legal challenge in a federal court on Thursday morning, according to the Associated Press.
The legal action follows news that acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer ordered the United States Army Corps of Engineers to complete the $3.8 billion pipeline, despite mass protests from Native peoples whose land and water could be devastated by its construction. Read more
Can falconers gift their birds feathers? I've been looking for the laws around that topic but I can't find anything.
Yes, but only to individuals or organizations with valid permits to keep them. The official word from the Federal Falconry Regulations text is:
ii) You may donate feathers from a falconry bird, except golden eagle feathers, to any person or institution with a valid permit to have them, or to anyone exempt from the permit requirement under §21.12. (which is here)
So basically you can only legally own bird of prey feathers if you are a member of a federally recognized Native American Tribe, a licensed falconer, or a member of a school or organization that has the valid permits to legally possess raptor feathers.
If you happen to gaze up at the night sky on June 9, you’ll see a mini Strawberry Moon.
June’s full moon is also known as the “Strawberry Moon.” The
fruity moniker doesn’t actually have anything to do with the moon’s
color, shape or size.
The Strawberry Moon celebrates the coming of prime
strawberry-picking season, which reaches its peak in June, according to
Strawberries are one of the earliest fruits to ripen, second only to rhubarb. With this in mind, the Algonquin
Native American tribes lent this month’s full moon its nickname as a
reminder to pick the quintessential summer fruit come June. Read more (6/9/17)
In an attempt to pull away from the cultural appropriation that had plagued modern wicca and neo-pagan movements, I notice many people gravitating towards traditional witchcraft in it’s various incarnations. While this is a broad conversation to enter into, something I want to bring up for the possibility of open conversation is the concept of the Fetch (traditional witchcraft) and the Spirit Animal (Native American shamanism). Bare in mind, my understanding of the spirit animal is limited to what I have been told and I am open to being given more information to better develop my grasp of the concept. Take the following definitions as generals, not absolutes.
A ? around a sentence means I’m not sure of the validity of this information.
Spirit Animal: An entity, separate from the self, which appears to guide or, through lessons, help one become stronger and persevere through challenge. They represent a mind set or perhaps ones strongest traits, what will become most important to them, or the path they should follow in life. ?A spirit animal does not ‘belong’ to any one person? However a totem animal is one with the person both in the physical and spiritual realm. Spirit animals may come in and out of ones life at times of need or to convey messages. ?Sometimes they have strong affiliations with a specific tribe?
Fetch: A fetch is, at it’s core, a representation of the persons most primal and uncivilized self. Wild and perhaps even dark, it is meant to act as a challenger to the persons progress in the craft and, once the challenge is won, the fetch will act on behalf of the person by helping them travel the spirit realm. They can be totemic (as totems and shamanism is not limited to Native American tribes)as they are in essence the person at their most wild and free self.
Why differentiate? Well beyond the two being very different both in concept and intention, I do feel there is a need to stop using the stolen ideals of another culture, especially when we don’t have a good grasp of what they are and simply fling around the term because we took a buzzfeed quiz. Spirit animals do not belong to witchcraft. We do not have a right to them under the concept that they exist for Native Americans. Now there may be some similarities between spirit animals and fetches, familiars, totems, et cetera in other practices. But that does not make the terms interchangeable.
The Domestic Garden Witch: I Sea What Ye Did There!
So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.
For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.
This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!
Where The Garden Meets The Sea
This is a little garden idea that might not be accessible for everyone. However, I live very close to the ocean, and as the days begin to get longer and the weather warmer, the beach becomes more and more of a destination (yes, even when you live right there, you still wind up wanting to go down and sunbathe, swim, explore tide pools, and spend the rest of the day cleaning sand out of places you didn’t know you had). It makes sense, then, to look at sea shells as an option for incorporating into garden witchery.
Most often, I’ve seen seashells used as no more than decorative additions to gardens, carefully placed among flower beds and succulent gardens as accents, or incorporated into the container either by having been cemented or glued in. But very rarely do I ever see shells be used as the container for a plant.
Ideally, you may have to use small succulents for this project, as their shallow root systems and limited size allow them to grow with very little trouble, depending upon what shell you’re using. Take a reasonably sized seashell (conches like the one pictured above work, but here on California’s Central Coast, I feel abalone is much more appropriate) and check to see if it has any breathing holes (some species have holes in the shells to facilitate the movement of water into and out of the creature’s gills without having to be exposed to predators - this is particularly noticeable in abalone). If it does not, carefully drill small holes into the bottom of the shell to promote drainage.
Using a fine gravel (aquarium gravel works well), place a drainage layer into the shell before adding your potting mix and plants. Water them and make sure they get plenty of sunlight!
This is an excellent way of bringing a bit of both the sea and the garden into a dorm room, windowsill, or even into a well-lit bathroom!
How Can I Witch This?
Continuing with last week’s theme of focusing on the material of the container rather than the decorations that can be added to it, seashells are an exceptional addition to a practice if you have a bit of a connection with the element of water.
Seashells have long been used for various reasons ranging from divination tools to eating utensils to decorative and fashionable trinkets, and even as currency (as is the case with cowry and abalone).
When working with shells, consider the creature they come from, and how they may play a role in your practice. For instance, abalone (I know I mention it quite a bit, but it’s one of my favorites and is strongly linked to local history) is a form of sea snail that was often caught for food. Not only is it therefore linked with prosperity and health in addition to water, it is also linked to well-being and financial stability - both the meat and the shells were often traded between Native American tribes in the area. The inside of an abalone shell is lined with Mother of Pearl, a beautiful substance that can be linked with money, protection, and feminine beauty. All of these aspects come to play in the way that I use abalone shells in my practice, and this is a great example of how to approach using seashells in your work.
Try to use shells that correspond with the plants that you’re using to enhance those properties, and you could even treat the shells much like you would stones if you make multiple gardens, creating garden grids that further enhance the energies you’re trying to bring into your life!
Using a seashell as a gardening container is a potent symbol for life-giving energies. Though the earth is most often associated with motherhood, so too is water linked with life, and the sea nearly always connected with feminine qualities in some way or another. As such, a shell garden like this could make for a beautiful and potent charm for expectant mothers or couples who are trying to have a child. If you’re a male witch trying to get in touch with your femininity, this is a great form of spellwork for such a purpose, as well.
So next time you walk along the beach and find an abandoned shell, consider whether such a gift is meant for such a beautiful union with the earth!
May all your harvests be bountiful! Blessed Be! )O(
Generations ago, the American Indian Osage tribe was forced to move. Not for the first time, white settlers pushed them off their land in the 1800s. They ended up in a rocky, infertile area in northeast Oklahoma in hopes that settlers would finally leave them alone.
As it turned out, the land they had chosen was rich in oil, and in the early 20th century members of the tribe became spectacularly wealthy. They bought cars and built mansions; they made so much oil money that the government began appointing white guardians to “help” them spend it.
Long before European settlers plowed the Plains, corn was an important part of the diet of Native American tribes like the Omaha, Ponca and Cherokee. Today, members of some tribes are hoping to revive their food and farming traditions by planting the kinds of indigenous crops their ancestors once grew.
Taylor Keen is hoping to lead that comeback in Nebraska. On a warm, bright September afternoon, Keen is singing to the corn. Walking through a maze of corn rows and a carpet of pumpkin vines behind his home in Omaha, Neb., he wears a cowboy hat, Wranglers and a traditional bead necklace.
“Well, this is what was formerly known as my backyard and is now home to the ‘four sisters,’ ” Keen says. “We have corn, bean, squash and the sunflower.”
He calls them the four sisters because of how they work together. The beans fertilize the corn as they climb the stalks. Sunflowers hold them up against the wind. Squash keep the raccoons at bay. There are also tomatoes, okra, gourds, sage and sweet grass.
Native American agricultural tribes have been using this combination of
corn, squash and beans for centuries because it works. A fish would be
buried under a small mound for fertilizer and corn would be planted on
top of the mound. Squash would cover the ground beneath the corn while
the beans climbed up the corn and added nitrogen to the soil. Multiple
mounds could be integrated into an edible landscape. Though this is only
one combination of plants that work well together, it is simple, proven
to work, and a great basis for understanding permaculture gardening
Yarrow is a beautiful wildflower that both repels insect pests and
attracts beneficial insects to the garden such as predatory wasps,
ladybugs, butterflies and bees. Yarrow is known for its beautiful,
intricate leaves and bright flowers and can be effectively used to
combat soil erosion. Besides benefitting the garden, this herb can be
used as an anti-inflammatory agent, a tonic, astringent, or can be used
in a variety of other medical uses. Flowers can be used to make bitters
and has been historically used to flavor beer. Due to its hardy nature,
yarrow thrives just about anywhere in the garden and comes in a variety
of colors, making it excellent for aesthetic and practical purposes in
8. Stinging Nettles
Possibly the most unpleasant plant on this list, the stinging nettle is
considered a weed by most. Chemical secretions within this plant cause
it to burn when handled, so exhibit caution. Despite its drawbacks,
stinging nettles are used in a variety of medicines and remedies
including gastrointestinal aid, BPH, increasing testosterone in
bodybuilding, or as a treatment for rheumatism. The leaves are eaten by
many types of caterpillars and will increase the amount of beneficial
insects in the garden. Stinging nettles are a natural repellent to
aphids and the roots contain anti-fungal properties. Nettle leaves can
be cooked as a healthy green or dried and used in herbal teas (soaking
in water and cooking eliminate the sting). This weed is extremely
beneficial, though care must be taken around the stinging leaves.
A strong, but pleasant smelling plant, wormwood is most famously used in
absinthe, though can also be used to brew beer, wine, and in making
bitters. This hardy bush contains chemicals that are the base of all
standard malaria medications, but with wormwood no medication is
necessary. It is a natural mosquito repellent, as well as a deterrent
for moths, slugs, fleas, flies, and mice. Scattering wormwood around the
perimeter of a garden acts as a natural fence to ward off unwanted
These perennial herbs are a great addition to nearly any garden. They
are unobtrusive to other plants and will increase yields of beans,
asparagus, chives, eggplants, pumpkin, squash or cucumbers amongst many
others. As long as the light is not being blocked and there is plenty of
room for root growth, most plants will thrive alongside both marjoram
and oregano. An aromatic mixture of herbs such as mint, spearmint,
oregano, lavender or lemon balm can fill any empty spaces in the garden,
stifling weed growth.
Everyone needs an herb garden. Besides repelling moths, ants and mice,
mint is a great addition to many drinks, desserts, or as a garnish. Keep
mint with other similar herbs and they will quickly fill out the space.
Cabbage and tomatoes reportedly increase yields in the presence of
mint, but proceed with caution. Despite all of its benefits, left on its
own mint will take over a garden. It grows back with a vengeance after
being cut. That being said, there will be no reason to ever buy mint at a
grocery store again.
4. Beans (Legumes)
Everyone loves beans, and for good reason. Part of the legume family,
they don’t need much space, they’re healthy, and they will revitalize
your garden soil. Unlike many plants that use up valuable nitrogen from
the earth, beans actually put it back through special enzymes in their
roots. Known as nitrogen fixing, legumes take atmospheric nitrogen (N2)
and convert it to Ammonium (NH4) in the soil, making this macronutrient
available to future and current plants in the vicinity. Aside from
plants in the onion family, beans will thrive alongside most crops. For
best results, plant legumes before, after, and amongst heavy feeders
like tomatoes, squash or broccoli.
Great in soup and even better in the garden, chives are a hardy, low
growing part of the onion family. Besides inhibiting mildew growth and
repelling many harmful insects, the bright purple flowers are known to
attract bees, which are needed to pollinate squash, tomatoes, cherries,
or a plethora of other flowering plants. Chives are best grown under
most types of trees, bushes and vines but should not be present
alongside beans. Harvesting can be done throughout the season as this
plant will constantly regrow its leaves. Chives and other members of the
onion family are excellent additions to any garden.
Besides flavor, garlic has a multitude of benefits for many plants.
Because this bulb thrives in shaded, nutrient rich soil, cover plants
Garlic has been known to deter ants, mosquitoes, aphids, cabbage
butterflies, caterpillars, snails, tomato worms, weevils and vampires
(can never be too careful). Despite all the apparent benefits, avoid
planting garlic with any type of beans, cabbages, or sunflowers since
they will compete with one another for valuable nutrients. Next time you
have an extra clove of garlic, plant it under a fruit tree, amongst
cucumbers, or interspersed with lavender. It will grow with minimal
effort. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and garlic certainly is that
1. Tomatoes and Basil
Probably the most well known example of companion plants. Besides
improving each others flavor, tomatoes and basil really do work
together. The tomato vines provide shade for the delicate basil, which
delays flowering, lengthens the harvesting season, and overall increases
the yield. Meanwhile, basil is a natural repellent for fruit flies,
house flies, and aphids who want nothing more than to lay eggs in a
plump, delicious tomato. Tomato roots run deep, while basil tends to
stay closer to the surface, eliminating competition between the two
plants. High yields and high flavor means true plant love.
Did you hear about the possibility of possible drilling and looking for oil in our national parks? Apparently the turd in chief sign a thing to look into the possibility. So there goes the last thing that still made America great our national forests teddy Roosevelt is rolling in his grave. He cared enough to start the program and now… now I just want to see humanity rot.
I’m reading about it now and I can’t believe it. They’re NATIONAL MONUMENTS - literal pieces of our history. Listed in the article are the Castle Mountains in California, Gold Butte in Nevada, and the northern rim of THE GRAND FREAKING CANYON. Not to mention the sacred lands of several Native American tribes that are for sure going to be looted and vandalized. Sound familiar? It’s dapl/pipeline all over again.
I'm writing a native character that lives on the california coast & i've chosen the pomo tribe, but it's really hard to find resources that don't refer to all native americans in "past tense" as if theyre not around anymore. Tips for finding sources?
Modern-Day Resources on the Pomo Tribe
Where are you looking, exactly?
If you want modern-day resources for the Pomo or another Tribe, then it’s pretty effective to look for their tribal government’s websites, which can typically feature newsletters to get you started. The Pomo have several different groups today, and you can start with http://www.pinolevillepomonation.org/.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: tribe documents and university publications are your best bet. You want to look for people who lived with the tribe for an extended period of time and a heavy amount of the text given to their own experiences. If you’re using tribe sources, this is easily achieved. If you’re using university sources, look for as little insertion of the author as possible.
The Cherokees resisted state and federal efforts to remove them from their Southeastern homelands during the 1820s and 1830s. During that time, most whites saw them as an inconvenient nuisance, an obstacle to colonial expansion. But after their removal, the tribe came to be viewed more romantically, especially in the antebellum South, where their determination to maintain their rights of self-government against the federal government took on new meaning. Throughout the South in the 1840s and 1850s, large numbers of whites began claiming they were descended from a Cherokee great-grandmother. That great-grandmother was often a “princess,” a not-inconsequential detail in a region obsessed with social status and suspicious of outsiders. By claiming a royal Cherokee ancestor, white Southerners were legitimating the antiquity of their native-born status as sons or daughters of the South, as well as establishing their determination to defend their rights against an aggressive federal government, as they imagined the Cherokees had done. These may have been self-serving historical delusions, but they have proven to be enduring.
The continuing popularity of claiming “Cherokee blood” and the ease with which millions of Americans inhabit a Cherokee identity speaks volumes about the enduring legacy of American colonialism. Shifting one’s identity to claim ownership of an imagined Cherokee past is at once a way to authenticate your American-ness and absolve yourself of complicity in the crimes Americans committed against the tribe across history.