It is now getting close to time for the Free Cherokee Winter Gathering in Titusville, Florida in February. This will be the second year at that location, and Butterfly and Desert Wolf have done a lot of work to prepare the area for the Gathering.
As we travelled south through Tennessee last year, we went through a snow storm that looked like a scene out of Narnia. By the time we got to Florida, it was sunny & warm and we didn't need a jacket...it was a great experience for two snow-birds from Ohio.
While camping last year, we enjoyed watching the horses make their evening run from the back fields to the barn. There was a nice fire circle near the camp-site, and we also enjoyed a field trip into the wilds of the Florida terrain. It is a slightly different environment than what we see up north. And the warm winter weather was great.
We are looking forward to this year's trip, and seeing everyone again!
In March, we will start off the year with a Women's Gathering to Re-awaken the Grandmother. It will be the weekend of Friday March 23rd to Sunday March 25th at our location in southeast Ohio. A Womens' Lodge will be held on Saturday. It is a family event, but the Lodge is for women only with men as fire-keepers and supporters.
All of last year, our Gatherings & Lodges have been visited by the thunder beings. We have had strong rain, lightning and thunder. At the last March Gathering in 2006, the thunder was so strong that the ground shook and it could be felt inside the Lodge. It was a good emphasis for the words that were spoken inside the Lodge.
We have become very practiced at starting a sacred fire in the rain. We tell people to come regardless of the weather we are having. We have had very hot Lodges, even with fewer stones, so it tells us that the Spirits are there to talk to us and help us.
Our Spring Gathering will be on May 18th to 20th. The weather should be warm enough to camp out.
In the last few years, our Clan has also developed an IronHouse Society. We correspond and work with Native American Circles in a few prisons near here. They generally have very little support from the outside, and have limited opportunity to practice their Native religion. We made our first visit to a prison Circle in December. Please keep these groups in your prayers.
As Peace Chief, CrowTalker has been involved as a member of the Board of a Regional Peace & Justice Network covering four counties in southeast Ohio. Please read his "Turtle Island Peace Pages" in another part of this newsletter, and the other articles in the archives section. The Peace Traditions of Native People are important to understand and apply in today's world.
If you need directions to our Gatherings, or just want to call for more information, please call us at (740) 596-4974.
Spirit Shadow & CrowTalker
To learn more about the Three Spirit Clan of Ohio, check out their web site at http://www.freecherokee.org/threespirit/.