How Buffalo, Eagle, Coyote and Bear began to help the Spirit Keepers
As Told By Jan of Heart Works
A long time ago when the animals could still talk to each other and to humans, four of the mightiest of the animals had a disagreement. Each of these animals felt that they were the best of the animals and that they deserved to be the chief of all the other animals. This caused bad feelings in the animal council where the bear had always been the chief. He had this position because he was strong and had always made wise decisions for the brothers and sisters. While most of the animals felt that the bear deserved to remain chief, others sided with one or another of the animals challenging him
One of the challengers was the buffalo. the buffalo said: “ I am the strongest and most powerful of the animals, and I give generously of myself to all of our brothers and sisters in the human as well as the animal kingdoms. I deserve to be the chief because of my purity of purpose and my ability to renew all those who receive my gifts.”
Another Challenger was the eagle. The eagle said: “ I fly higher than any of the rest of the winged creatures. I see more clearly. I fly closer to the great spirit than anyone else in this council. Because of my clarity and wisdom, I deserve to be the chief of this council.”
The other one to challenge the bear’s right to be the chief of the council was the coyote. coyote said: “ I am the trickiest of all the animals. I can survive anywhere. I have the ability to teach things to all of you whether or not you want to learn. Because of the growth I bring about, I deserve to be your chief.”
Bear said : “ I have great respect for my brothers who wish to be chief, but you have no reason to oust me. I have always served you well. I am strong, yet I am always gentle in my decisions. I always think long and hard before I decide what I should do about any question that faces us. I wish to continue to serve you as I have.”
After the four powerful animals finished speaking, all of the other animals had their chance as the talking stick passed around the circle.
When the stick came full circle back to the bear, it became clear that the animals were evenly divided about who should be the chief. No concensus was possible. everyone there felt bad because it was the first time they had ever disagreed so greatly. No one knew what to do. All four animals were powerful and had medicine that qualified them to be the chief.
During the council the animals noticed that the winds were blowing strongly from all four directions. They seemed to be trying to tell the council something. But, since everyone was so caught up in trying to prove that he was right and his favorite should be the chief, no one was really listening.
Finally as all of the animals sat in silence preparing for the talking stick to pass once again, one of the spirit teachers appeared in their midst. He appeared as a powerful man of middle age, and , as he came the West Wind blew strongly.
“I am Mudjekeewis, the Spirit Keeper of the West. Where I walk the west wind follows. Long ago, before any of you were born, it was decided that I would be the chief of the keepers of the directions. Like you Eagle, Bear, Buffalo and Coyote, all four of us who now keep the directions were strong. We were children of the same mother, and we all had her strength and wisdom plus the separate wisdom of each of our fathers.
But rather than fight about who was strongest and thus break the law of unity, we decided with our mothers help to each take responsibility for one quarter of the Medicine Wheel so we could each use our separate strengths in the best possible way. By doing this we made the wheel strong in all directions, and we made ourselves stronger by having a definite direction for our strength to take. I was chosen by One Greater to be the chief because I always think before I act, so my strength is tempered by introspection.
I am now sent by One Greater to intervene in this council. It is clear by listening to you speak that it would take many years to reach consensus. During this time the law of unity among the animals would be broken as the followers of one contender fought against the followers of another. This would cause unnecessary harm to all of you, and to your other relations on the earth. The Great Spirit does not want this to happen
So each of you four will now merge your power with the power of one of the directions. In this way your strengths, too, will help to make the wheel strong, and each of you will have a specific direction that you follow.
Bear, you will merge with me, with the West, because, like me, you are strong and you think long before you speak. When you serve with me your coat will be black, like the night , with silver hair to honor the stars. You will remain as the chief of the animal council as I am the chief of the council of the winds.
Buffalo, you will merge with the power of Waboose, of the North, as you share the qualities of renewal and purity. When you serve with Waboose, your coat will be white, the color of the snow.
Eagle, you will merge with the power of Wabun, of the east. With your clear vision you will help to bring the awakening, wisdom and illumination. When you serve with her you will wear golden feathers, the color of the dawn.
Coyote, you will merge with the power of the south, Shawnodese. With your ability to teach and survive, you will help to bring growth and trust into being. When you serve with him, your coat will be the color of the midday sun spotting the fertile earth.
So, my honored friends, be happy now with the gifts of power the Great Spirit has given to each of you. Each of you will serve best in the direction that you have been given, and you can all now contribute to the harmony of the creation. It is good.”
Jan did a beautiful job of telling a wonderful story. Jan says, “This story is from “The Medicine Wheel” by Sun bear , Chippewa / medicine chief of the Bear Tribe ~ a multiracial medicine society based a vision he had “a long time ago.” “Our message can be summed up in the phrase “Walk in Balance on the Earth Mother” skidi
(¸.•´ (¸*´¨(♥ ♥ Here is a sample of our Story Teller’s work.
(¸.•´ (¸*´¨(♥ ♥ Here is a sample of our Story Teller’s work.
Jan says, “I believe there is energy in everything, as well as everyone. I hope to spread peace, joy, well-being, good energy and a sense of the ‘oneness’ that we all a part of – using color and universal and multicultural symbolism, humorous and pithy words, phrases and quotes.
I also try to use recycled materials whenever I can and paints, stains and varnishes that are low impact. I am a lifelong artist/artisan . My Passion is for “sign-art”, using my hand lettering skills to create functional, inspiring, smile invoking,vibrant art work – signs, wall hangings, magnets, garden stakes + I am always looking for new ways and materials to create my signs and designs.
I have been a commercial Sign Artist for almost 30 years. I love painting just about anything. I love letters and hand lettering with a brush. All of my work is free-hand. I still do commercial signs but my real love is the work you see here. “
To see more of Jan’s wonderful work go to: