25
Jul

The Two Foundlings…

   Posted by: VoGE   in Random Meanderings, VoGEisms

2 Foundlings I have two dear friends who had both been orphaned as foundlings, then adopted as infants by loving families. They were entrusted to wonderful homes with caring parents, yet the fruit of their upbringing was wildly different, based primarily upon their own perception of their original origins.

One of them was not burdened by his knowledge of once having been an orphan. He viewed himself as a child of the universe, and knew that he was there in the world because Creator wanted him to be. He knew, deep inside, that his birth parents were simply the instruments that the cosmos used to bring him here. Because of this uplifting perspective, he experienced every day with a heart full of joy and appreciation.

The other friend was not nearly so wise. He thought that, because his birth parents obviously didn’t want him, there must be something lacking in his own being. Nothing he did was ever good enough in his own eyes. Every day was a fruitless proving of himself to himself. He lied to others in order to make himself look larger than life because, in his own mind, he wasn’t good enough without embellishment.

These two friends are two sides of the same coin.  Very similar experiences brought forth very different results, depending on the viewpoint – and spirituality – of the individual. Perception can indeed become reality.

AHO!

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23
May

Andy, Angelo & Me

   Posted by: VoGE   in Music

One magical Spring day in May three musical improvisationalists met in a rehearsal room to see what would happen when they played some music together. The result is this spontaneous video, live and unedited, giving a glimpse of what is hopefully a lot more to come.

The players are Andy, Angelo and me…
Andy Tate – Guitar
Angelo Rapin – Piano
Voice of Golden Eagle – Native Flute

20
Dec

A Christmas Gift from VoGE

   Posted by: VoGE   in Music, Stories

May all the best of this holiday season be yours!

My gift for you this season comes in two flavors. The first is a music video that tells an Austrian fable regarding the origin of the Christmas Candle. It’s a wonderful, heartwarming tale that I first shared with MP3.com as part of a Christmas special in 2001, and now here it is again for you today.

The second gift is an MP3 file of the music I did for the above video. A Native Flute version of Silent Night.

Voice of Golden Eagle – SILENT NIGHT
(click here to listen) (right-click here to Save As)

I hope you enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them for you. May the best and brightest of EVERY season be yours to behold.

AHO!

…VoGE

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26
Nov

Why I Fast On This Day

   Posted by: VoGE   in VoGE Editorial

Thanksgiving Rock at PlymouthPeople are often surprised when they learn that many Native Americans consider the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA to be a national day of mourning and have for nearly 40 years. Some observe the date with a day of quiet remembrance, prayer and even fasting.

I am one.

A BIT OF BACKGROUND

To gain more understanding of the holiday, you need to know the unvarnished truth about the original Thanksgivings. Most of us grew up being taught to associate the holiday with happy Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a big feast. And that did happen – once… But there’s much more to the story.

The tale actually begins back in 1614 when a band of English explorers attacked the local Patuxet Indians who had welcomed them to Massachusetts Bay. They then sailed home to England with a hold full of Natives bound for slavery. During their visit these explorers also spread smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had been lucky enough to escape the slave ship.

THE GOOD

By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian remaining in the village, a man named Squanto, who fortunately knew how to speak English. He taught them to grow corn and to fish (which saved them from starvation that first winter), and he negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags.

THE BAD

But as word spread in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots called Puritans began arriving by the boat load. Finding no fences around the land, they considered it to be in the public domain. Joined by other British settlers, they seized property, captured strong young Natives for slaves and killed the rest indiscriminately.

THE UGLY

The Pequot Nation had not officially agreed to the peace treaty Squanto had negotiated and they fought back against the injustices. The Pequot War was one of the bloodiest Indian wars ever fought.

In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is the Pequot Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared “A Day Of Thanksgiving” because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.

Cheered by their “victory”, the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.

GIVING THANKS FOR BLOODSHED

Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of “thanksgiving” to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts — where it remained on display for 24 years.

The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War — on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota.

WHAT ALL THIS MEANS FOR US TODAY

This story doesn’t have quite the same fuzzy feelings associated with it as the one you were told in school where the Indians and Pilgrims all sat down together at the big feast… But we need to learn our true history – the good, the bad, and the ugly – so the mistakes won’t be repeated.

I realize a National Day of Mourning will never be able to compete with a holiday table full of delights served by grandma and that’s ok too. No one is asking you to change the holiday rituals you hold dear, whatever they may be. It’s ALWAYS good to be thankful and come together with loved ones, regardless of the occasion. But, this Thanksgiving, when you gather with your friends and family to Thank Creator for all your many blessings, think also about these things you have just heard here and understand, with a little more compassion, the sad history that this holiday holds for many people.  My people.


Witsatologi nihi – Many Blessings To You!

To learn more about the National Day Of Mourning:

NativeVillage.org

Pilgrim Hall Museum

Ken Savage –  How Thanksgiving Became the National Day of Mourning


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4
Oct

Conversation with a friend

   Posted by: VoGE   in Spirituality, VoGEisms

I had a conversation with an old and dear friend the other day. His heart was troubled by the world he saw around him. His faith gave him a type of strength, but it also robbed him of hope. He had been sold “Heaven in the sky” and was convinced that everything about this world was evil and corrupt.

My heart ached for him as I realized how little he knew of Grandmother Earth and Her wonders.

A family man, honest and caring about others, he was haunted by the terrible visions that filled his eyes and his TV set… The cruel deeds of his fellow men… The harsh realities of a world unbalanced. As his words unfolded I saw creases of pain that had been etched into his heart by negative experiences.

I shared his concerns, but not his anxiety and depression, for in my view, this is supposed to be a place of transition and change… An opportunity to grow as spiritual beings! It is only thru heat that steel can become tempered and strong. This world is a spiritual proving ground filled with the seeds of both Hell and Heaven. It is for each of us to decide which will flourish and grow in our own heart.

I tried to convey to my friend the wondrous visions Grandmother Earth bestows on those who will simply look… The nurturing of Spring babies, winged, furred, scaled, and naked… The gathering of the rainbow across the land as bare branches burst into celebration… The awesome spectacle of Sunrise, bringing with it another day full of possibilities yet undiscovered… But, his mind was closed to these wonders and they brought him little joy. Like a man riding backwards on a horse, he saw only the rutted, crapped-on path behind him.

He clung to his holy book like a shield against all pain. But in the process he also blocked out Creator’s healing Light!

I left my friend knowing that I had not reached him. His faint parting smile told me he thought me some opto-mystic fool with my head in the clouds. As I contemplated all we had shared with each other, a prayer for us both echoed through my spirit…

“Creator, open our hearts that we may feel… The possibilities in every moment… The miraculous in the commonplace. Creator, open our eyes that we may see… Beyond our pain… Beyond our perspective… Beyond the horizon. And let us always be open to the blessings you bestow upon us EVERY step of the way!”

AHO!

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1
Oct

Dawn Thoughts about Changing Times

   Posted by: VoGE   in VoGEisms

As Dawn greets us with sunshine and gifts us with new opportunities, many find their hearts clouded with thoughts of impending rain. This is a time of great change, worldwide. Societies are in painful transition and, like mice scurrying around the feet of wandering buffalo, we must plan our own steps very carefully. For some, if not most, this will be season of sacrifice and change in ways that are beyond our present imagining.

For me, today began as an introspective day. Dawn found me prayerfully searching the horizon, watching and listening for signs. Nature always has a lesson if we only pay attention! The sky was overcast, so searching for a message in the sun was in vain… The insects sounded muted and distant. Even the grass seemed too timid to have dew.

Just about then, a sign came to me in the form of a tiny mosquito… I watched her as she hovered above my garlic scented skin for almost a minute, wavering and hesitating, then sat down resolutely and began to drink with a shudder as if to say, “Regardless of how it tastes, I have to do what I have to do.”

I agree. We all must do what we must do. Which is why I killed that mosquito, who died with honor like a warrior.

From small things sometimes come big messages.

Creator, Open Our Eyes That We May See

AHO!

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