Even though it rained for 13 straight days leading up to the beginning of the New Year Ceremony held by the Overhill Nation of Cherokee Descendants - The Gathering was not cancelled despite 3 inches of rain on the day of the Gathering. Almost 100 members from virginia to Florida braved the elements and had a good gathering.
On sunday, spirit Feather, Shaman of the Nation conducted Spiritual Teachings and three young people were Baptized.
On Saturday morning our people joined together at White Horse's Place and at 7:00 Saturday night we travelled to Caney Creek Campground and held our ceremonies in a barn - alot of fun was had by almost all of us. The ceremonies were good and much harmony was shared by all of us.
Spirit Feather and Spirit Wind purchased a 30 by 50 foot tarp for the Nation and White Horse built a structure for it to keep us out of the rain.
Man White Cloud raised indian corn and brought it to be used in the ceremony. Sky Eagle brought sacred wood for the fire and enough sacred wood to be given to those who wanted to make talking sticks. Crow Woman - Head Medicine Woman brought the sacred wood for the sacred fire as she does every year. Strong Heart supplied the portajohn on Saturday.
Friday night friendship fire was enjoyed by those most committed who could make a showing.
Wolf Bear proved his commitment to the Nation at the Gathering and was recognized as acting Top Warrior for the next year.
The absence of many members on Friday night was noticed by myself and the Head Warrior who had worked all summer building a sacred circle, sweat lodge and a friendship fire area - also a 30 by 50 foot structure of bamboo was constructed to protect us from the rain. All this work was done by White Horse himself.
But all in all, it was a good gathering and we are already looking forward to April as we start our 20th year of making sure OUR ANCESTORS DID NOT LIVE AND DIE IN VAIN.
Mystic Coyote Campbell, Spirit Feather, Spirit wind, Grey Smoke, Woman Shadow Spirit, and Man White Cloud received the Eagle certificate for dedication, commitment & loyalty to the Clan & Nation, The Evening Sun White Dove certificate was given to Woman Black Star Hawn & Grey Raven Willilams for their commitment, dedication & loyalty to their Clan & the Nation, The Chief's Certificate of Man Many Trees Special Recognition was presented to Wild Pretty Bird Longmire for commmitment, loayalty & many years of service to her Clan & the Nation. The Nation's Certificate of Acknowledgement was given to White Horse for he has achieved the high standard for his Commitment, loyalty, dedication & performance above and beyond his required duties to the Nation.
I want to thank each and every member who braved the elements and economy to attend our September Gathering. Hope to see everyone in the last weekend of April 2010 Planting of the Corn Ceremony.
Wa Do - Chief Man Many Trees
The Longhair Clan of Tennessee has a lot of pictures of the gathering. Click here to see them
To all my wonderful brothers & sisters,
What a wonderful gathering! We all truly danced in the rain. The love in our hearts for our Creator, our Ancestors & for each other only brought us closer by the pouring rain. I could feel the pride that our Ancestors felt as we carried on as usual, letting the rain be our background music. I heard a wonderful, beautiful waterfall close by & it was just the perfect setting for a peaceful, close, & enjoyable time for all.
Our wonderful sister read to us the story of her precious chief's passing. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. I was deeply touched & the love filled the barn was almost visible.
You could see children of our Ancestors playing ball in the field. As as beautiful BIG wolf made the perimeter of the land making sure that all was well, I thought she belonged to someone there & they had taught her well to continue to protect her people as they played, danced & cried. But I was wrong. She was just there to do her job. For this we are so blessed & thankful.
I am very thankful to the owners of this wonderful peaceful place where we gathered for allowing us the honor & privilege to have our ceremonies on. How very blessed we are to have two places with history for us to meet.
I am so very grateful to the Nation's head warrior for all the work he put into his property for us to meet on. There is a lot of wonderful history to his property. The love & many hours of hard work he did for us. That is truly brotherly love. We will look forward to meeting there for many years to come.
To end the gathering with water baptism was just way over the top. I do believe all of heaven stood still & cried just as those of us did standing around the water praying. Our sisters Shining Deer, Shining Eagle, Sun Star (formally known as Raven Fire), and our brother, Sky Wolf, each stepped into the water and received Creator's Holy and beautiful baptism of faith. We all left feeling like this was one of the best gatherings yet. So we danced in the rain quiet well.
The Wind Clan's Shaman, Spirit Feather, gifted Star Comes Out a flute which I do expect to hear him play.
Please keep Wild Pretty Bird in your prayers. She does a lot of things for this Nation. She is the binding glue that holds us together & we need to hold her up before the Creator daily. Besides, next gathering I can see Star Comes Out wanting to do more dancing in the circle with his sister that he loves so very much.
My love to each of you,
Wild Fire Helper
Beloved Woman of the Overhill Nation of Cherokee Descendants