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Antelope - Antelope is quick to bound into action. If there is an area in your life where you need to act and take that leap of faith, just do it! Or maybe your thoughts are leaping about like antelopes being stalked by a predator. If so, calm down, be still, and look before you leap. 



Keeper of stories - Bold Self-Expression - Aggressiveness
Single-mindedness - Passion - Cunning - Revenge - Perseverance
Control - Antidote to passivity or victimization - Persistence in the service of a mission
Groundedness - Knowledge of the earth - Earth magick and wisdom
Creative action in a crisis - Protection of rights and spiritual ideas
A Dakota Sioux Tale
      On the edge of a forest there lived a large family of badgers. In the ground their dwelling was made. Its walls and roof were covered with rocks and straw.

      Old father badger was a great hunter. He knew well how to track the deer and buffalo. Every day he came home carrying on his back some wild game. This kept mother badger very busy, and the baby badgers very chubby. While the well- fed children played about, digging little make-believe dwellings, their mother hung thin sliced meats upon long willow racks. As fast as the meats were dried and seasoned by sun and wind, she packed them carefully away in a large thick bag.

     This bag was like a huge stiff envelope, but far more beautiful to see, for it was painted all over with many bright colors. These firmly tied bags of dried meat were laid upon the rocks in the walls of the dwelling. In this way they were both useful and decorative.

     One day father badger did not go off for a hunt. He stayed at home, making new arrows. His children sat about him on the ground floor. Their small black eyes danced with delight as they watched the gay colors painted upon the arrows.

     All of a sudden there was heard a heavy footfall near the entrance way. The oval- shaped door-frame was pushed aside. In stepped a large black foot with great big claws. Then the other clumsy foot came next. All the while the baby badgers stared hard at the unexpected comer. After the second foot, in peeped the head of a big black bear! His black nose was dry and parched. Silently he entered the dwelling and sat down on the ground by the doorway.

     His black eyes never left the painted bags on the rocky walls. He guessed what was in them. He was a very hungry bear. Seeing the racks of red meat hanging in the yard, he had come to visit the badger family.

    Though he was a stranger and his strong paws and jaws frightened the small badgers, the father said, "How, how, friend! Your lips and nose look feverish and hungry. Will you eat with us?"

    "Yes, my friend," said the bear. "I am starved. I saw your racks of red fresh meat, and knowing your heart is kind, I came hither. Give me meat to eat, my friend."

     Hereupon the mother badger took long strides across the room, and as she had to pass in front of the strange visitor, she said: "Ah han! Allow me to pass!" which was an apology.

    "Hau, Hau, Hau!" replied the bear, drawing himself closer to the wall and crossing his shins together.

     Mother badger chose the most tender red meat, and soon over a bed of coals she broiled the venison.

    That day the bear had all he could eat. At nightfall he rose, and smacking his lips together, -- that is the noisy way of saying "the food was very good!" -- he left the badger dwelling. The baby badgers, peeping through the door-flap after the shaggy bear, saw him disappear into the woods near by.

     Day after day the crackling of twigs in the forest told of heavy footsteps. Out would come the same black bear. He never lifted the door-flap, but thrusting it aside entered slowly in. Always in the same place by the entrance way he sat down with crossed shins.

     His daily visits were so regular that mother badger placed a fur rug in his place. She did not wish a guest in her dwelling to sit upon the bare hard ground.

     Over a bed of coals she broiled the venison.

     At last one time when the bear returned, his nose was bright and black. His coat was glossy. He had grown fat upon the badger's hospitality.

     As he entered the dwelling a pair of wicked gleams shot out of his shaggy head. Surprised by the strange behavior of the guest who remained standing upon the rug, leaning his round back against the wall, father badger queried: "How, my friend! What?"

     The bear took one stride forward and shook his paw in the badger's face. He said: "I am strong, very strong!"

     "Yes, yes, so you are," replied the badger. From the farther end of the room mother badger muttered over her bead work: "Yes, you grew strong from our well-filled bowls."

    The bear smiled, showing a row of large sharp teeth.

    "I have no dwelling. I have no bags of dried meat. I have no arrows. All these I have found here on this spot," said he, stamping his heavy foot. "I want them! See! I am strong!" repeated he, lifting both his terrible paws.

     Quietly the father badger spoke: "I fed you. I called you friend, though you came here a stranger and a beggar. For the sake of my little ones leave us in peace."

     Mother badger, in her excited way, had pierced hard through the buckskin and stuck her fingers repeatedly with her sharp awl until she had laid aside her work. Now, while her husband was talking to the bear, she motioned with her hands to the children. On tiptoe they hastened to her side.

     For reply came a low growl. It grew louder and more fierce. "Wa-ough!" he roared, and by force hurled the badgers out. First the father badger; then the mother. The little badgers he tossed by pairs. He threw them hard upon the ground. Standing in the entrance way and showing his ugly teeth, he snarled, "Be gone!"

     The father and mother badger, having gained their feet, picked up their kicking little babes, and, wailing aloud, drew the air into their flattened lungs till they could stand alone upon their feet. No sooner had the baby badgers caught their breath than they howled and shrieked with pain and fright. Ah! what a dismal cry was theirs as the whole badger family went forth wailing from out their own dwelling! A little distance away from their stolen house the father badger built a small round hut. He made it of bent willows and covered it with dry grass and twigs.

    This was shelter for the night; but alas! it was empty of food and arrows. All day father badger prowled through the forest, but without his arrows he could not get food for his children. Upon his return, the cry of the little ones for meat, the sad quiet of the mother with bowed head, hurt him like a poisoned arrow wound.

    "I'll beg meat for you!" said he in an unsteady voice. Covering his head and entire body in a long loose robe he halted beside the big black bear. The bear was slicing red meat to hang upon the rack. He did not pause for a look at the comer. As the badger stood there unrecognized, he saw that the bear had brought with him his whole family. Little cubs played under the high-hanging new meats. They laughed and pointed with their wee noses upward at the thin sliced meats upon the poles.

    "Have you no heart, Black Bear? My children are starving. Give me a small piece of meat for them," begged the badger.

    "Wa-ough!" growled the angry bear, and pounced upon the badger. "Be gone!" said he, and with his big hind foot he sent father badger sprawling on the ground.

      All the little ruffian bears hooted and shouted "ha-ha!" to see the beggar fall upon his face. There was one, however, who did not even smile. He was the youngest cub. His fur coat was not as black and glossy as those his elders wore. The hair was dry and dingy. It looked much more like kinky wool. He was the ugly cub. Poor little baby bear! he had always been laughed at by his older brothers. He could not help being himself. He could not change the differences between himself and his brothers. Thus again, though the rest laughed aloud at the badger's fall, he did not see the joke. His face was long and earnest. In his heart he was sad to see the badgers crying and starving. In his breast spread a burning desire to share his food with them.

     "I shall not ask my father for meat to give away. He would say 'No!' Then my brothers would laugh at me," said the ugly baby bear to himself.

     In an instant, as if his good intention had passed from him, he was singing happily and skipping around his father at work. Singing in his small high voice and dragging his feet in long strides after him, as if a prankish spirit oozed out from his heels, he strayed off through the tall grass. He was ambling toward the small round hut. When directly in front of the entrance way, he made a quick side kick with his left hind leg. Lo! there fell into the badger's hut a piece of fresh meat. It was tough meat, full of sinews, yet it was the only piece he could take without his father's notice.

     Thus having given meat to the hungry badgers, the ugly baby bear ran quickly away to his father again.

     On the following day the father badger came back once more. He stood watching the big bear cutting thin slices of meat.

     "Give -- " he began, when the bear turning upon him with a growl, thrust him
cruelly aside. The badger fell on his hands. He fell where the grass was wet with the blood of the newly carved buffalo. His keen starving eyes caught sight of a little red clot lying bright upon the green. Looking fearfully toward the bear and seeing his head was turned away, he snatched up the small thick blood. Underneath his girdled blanket he hid it in his hand.

     On his return to his family, he said within himself : "I'll pray the Great Spirit to bless it." Thus he built a small round lodge. Sprinkling water upon the heated heap of sacred stones within, he made ready to purge his body. "The buffalo blood, too, must be purified before I ask a blessing upon it," thought the badger. He carried it into the sacred vapor lodge. After placing it near the sacred stones, he sat down beside it. After a long silence, he muttered: "Great Spirit, bless this little buffalo blood." Then he arose, and with a quiet
dignity stepped out of the lodge. Close behind him some one followed. The badger turned to look over his shoulder and to his great joy he beheld a Dakota brave in handsome buckskins. In his hand he carried a magic arrow. Across his back dangled a long fringed quiver. In answer to the badger's prayer, the avenger had sprung from out the red globules.

     "My son!" exclaimed the badger with extended right hand.

     "How, father," replied the brave; "I am your avenger!"

     Immediately the badger told the sad story of his hungry little ones and the stingy bear.

     Listening closely the young man stood looking steadily upon the ground.

     At length the father badger moved away.

     "Where?" queried the avenger.

     "My son, we have no food. I am going again to beg for meat," answered the badger.

     "Then I go with you," replied the young brave. This made the old badger happy. He was proud of his son. He was delighted to be called "father" by the first human creature.

     The bear saw the badger coming in the distance. He narrowed his eyes at the tall stranger walking beside him. He spied the arrow. At once he guessed it was the avenger of whom he had heard long, long ago. As they approached, the bear stood erect with a hand on his thigh. He smiled upon them.

     "How, badger, my friend! Here is my knife. Cut your favorite pieces from the deer," said he, holding out a long thin blade.

     "How!" said the badger eagerly. He wondered what had inspired the big bear to such a generous deed. The young avenger waited till the badger took the long knife in his hand.

    Staring full into the black bear's face, he said: "I come to do justice. You have returned only a knife to my poor father. Now return to him his dwelling." His voice was deep and powerful. In his black eyes burned a steady fire.

    The long strong teeth of the bear rattled against each other, and his shaggy body shook with fear. "Ahow!" cried he, as if he had been shot. Running into the dwelling he gasped, breathless and trembling, "Come out, all of you! This is the badger's dwelling. We must flee to the forest for fear of the avenger who carries the magic arrow."

    Out they hurried, all the bears, and disappeared into the woods.

    Singing and laughing, the badgers returned to their own dwelling.

    Then the avenger left them.

     "I go," said he in parting, "over the earth."


Maintaining the ability to be productive in all ways by not limiting your options - Being persistent - Using available resources - Using alternate ways of doing tasks - Master builder of all things - Not damming the flow of experiences in life - Achievement through completion of tasks - Understanding dynamics of group work
    The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of British Columbia were great hunters of whales and sea otters. 

    There was a great hunter among the people living at Larhwiyip on the Stikine River . Ever on the alert for new territories, he would go away by himself for long periods and return with quantities of furs and food. 

    He had remained single, although he was very wealthy and his family begged him to take a wife. As a true hunter, he observed all the fasts of cleanliness and kept away from women. 

    One day when he returned from a hunting trip, he said, "I am going to take a wife now. After That I will move to a distant region where I hear that wild animals are plentiful." 

     So he married a young woman from a neighboring village who, like himself, was clever and scrupulous in observing the rules. 

     When the time came for them to go on their hunting trips, they both kept the fasts of purification, and the hunter got even more furs and food than he had before. Some time later, he said to his wife, "Let's go to a new country, where we'll have to stay for a long time." 

    After many days of traveling, they came to a strange land. The hunter put up a hut, where they lived while he built a house. When he had finished it, he and his wife were happy. They would play with each other every night. 

    Soon he said to her, "I'm going to my new hunting grounds for two days and a night. I will return just before the second night." 

    In his new territory he made snares in his trapline, and when these were set, he went home just before sunset on the second day. 

    His wife was very happy, and again they played together all through the night. 

    After several days, he visited the snares and found them full of game. He loaded his canoe and came back again before dark on the second day. Very happy, he met his wife, and they both worked to prepare the furs and meat. 

    When they had finished, he set out once more, saying, "This time I intend to go in a new direction, so I will be away for three sleeps." 

    And he did, and rejoiced in being with his wife again when he returned. 

    To amuse herself when she was alone, the woman went down to the little stream flowing by the lodge. She spent most of her time bathing and swimming around in a small pool while her husband was away. 

As soon as he returned, she would play with him. Now he said, "Since you've become used to being alone, I'm going on a longer trip." 

    By then he had enlarged his hunting house, and it was full of furs and food. 

    The woman again took to her swimming. Soon she found the little pool too small for her, so she built a dam by piling up branches and mud. The pool became a small lake, deep enough for her to swim in at ease. Now she spent nearly all her time in the new lake and felt quite happy. 

    When her husband returned, she showed him the dam she had made, and he was pleased. Before going away once more, he said, "I'll be gone a long time, now that I know you're not afraid of being alone." 

    The woman built a little house of mud and branches in the center of the lake. After a swim she would go into it and rest. At night she would return to the hunting house on land, but as soon as she waked in the morning, she would go down to the lake again. 

    Eventually she slept in her lake lodge all night, and when her husband came back, she felt uncomfortable staying with him at the house. 

    Now she was pregnant and kept more to herself, and she preferred to stay in her lake lodge even when her husband was at home. To pass the time, she enlarged the lake by building the dam higher. She made another dam downstream, and then another, until she had a number of small lakes all connected to the large one in which she had her lodge. 

    The hunter went away on a last long journey. He had enough furs and food to make him very wealthy, and he planned that they would move back to his village after this trip. 

    The woman, whose child was due any day, stayed in the water all the time and lived altogether in the lodge. By now it was partly submerged, and it's entrance was under water.

    When the hunter returned this time, he could not find his wife. He looked all over, searching the woods day after day without discovering a trace of her. He was at a loss, unwilling to go back to his people without knowing her fate, for fear that her family might want to kill him. He returned sadly to his hunting house every night and each morning resumed the search. 

    One evening at dusk, he remembered that his wife had spent much of her time in the water. "Perhaps she traveled on downstream," he thought. 

    The next day he walked down to the lake that his wife had dammed and went around it, but he saw nothing of her. 

    After many days of searching, the hunter retraced his steps. When he came to the large lake, he sat down and began to sing a dirge. Now he knew that something had happened to his wife; she had been taken by a supernatural power. 

    While he was singing and crying his dirge, a figure emerged from the lake. It was a strange animal, in its mouth a stick which it was gnawing. On each side of the animal were two smaller ones, also gnawing sticks. 

    Then the largest figure, which wore a hat shaped like a gnawed stick, spoke. 

    "Don't be sad! It is I, your wife, and your two children. We have returned to our home in the water. Now that you have seen me, you will use me as a crest. Call me the Woman-Beaver, and the crest Remnants-of-Chewing-Stick. The children are First Beaver, and you will refer to them in your dirge as the Offspring of Woman-Beaver." 

    After she had spoken, she disappeared into the waters, and the hunter saw her no more. At once he packed his goods, and when his canoe was filled, traveled down the river to his village. 

    For a long while he did not speak to his people. Then he told them what had happened and said, "I will take this as my personal crest. It shall be known as Remnants-of-Chewing-Stick, and forever remain the property of our clan, the Salmon-Eater household." 

    This is the origin of the Beaver crest and the Remnants-of-Chewing-Stick. 

- Based on two versions of the same myth, reported by William Beynon in 1949 and by Marius Barbeau in 1953 

The busy beaver works with the other members of his tribe to build a sturdy home. He is the builder and the symbol for partnership. If he comes in your life perhaps you are supposed to get going on some project or maybe you should be considering a new partnership. Let beaver teach you how to work together towards your goals. 
Zuni: Cushing, Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, xiii, 379
    Before the beginning of the new-making, Awonawilona (the Maker and Container of All, the All-father Father), solely had being. There was nothing else whatsoever throughout the great space of the ages save everywhere black darkness in it, and everywhere void desolation. 

    In the beginning of the new-made, Awonawilona conceived within himself and thought outward in space, whereby mists of increase, steams potent of growth, were evolved and uplifted. Thus, by means of his innate knowledge, the All-container made himself in person and form of the Sun whom we hold to be our father and who thus came to exist and appear. With his appearance came the brightening of the spaces with light, and with the brightening of the spaces the great mist-clouds were thickened together and fell, whereby was evolved water in water; yea, and the world-holding sea. 

    With his substance of flesh outdrawn from the surface of his person, the Sun-father formed the seed-stuff of twain worlds, impregnating therewith the great waters, and lo! in the heat of his light these waters of the sea grew green and scums rose upon them, waxing wide and weighty until, behold! they became Awitelin Tsita, the "Four-fold Containing Mother-earth," and Apoyan T'chu, the "All-covering Father-sky."[37] 

    From the lying together of these twain upon the great world-waters, so vitalizing, terrestrial life was conceived; whence began all beings of earth, men and the creatures, in the Fourfold womb of the World. 

    Thereupon the Earth-mother repulsed the Sky-father, growing big and sinking deep into the embrace of the waters below, thus separating from the Sky-father in the embrace of the waters above. As a woman forebodes evil for her first-born ere born, even so did the Earth-mother forebode, long withholding from birth her myriad progeny and meantime seeking counsel with the Sky-father. "How," said they to one another, "shall our children when brought forth, know one place from another, even by the white light of the Sun-father?" 

    Now like all the surpassing beings the Earth-mother and the Sky-father were changeable, even as smoke in the wind; transmutable at thought, manifesting themselves in any form at will, like as dancers may by mask-making. 

    Thus, as a man and woman, spake they, one to the other. "Behold!" said the Earth-mother as a great terraced bowl appeared at hand and within it water, "this is as upon me the homes of my tiny children shall be. On the rim of each world-country they wander in, terraced mountains shall stand, making in one region many, whereby country shall be known from country, and within each, place from place. Behold, again!" said she as she spat on the water and rapidly smote and stirred it with her fingers. Foam formed, gathering about the terraced rim, mounting higher and higher. "Yea," said she, "and from my bosom they shall draw nourishment, for in such as this shall they find the substance of life whence we were ourselves sustained, for see!" Then with her warm breath she blew across the terraces; white flecks of the foam broke away, and, floating over above the water, were shattered by the cold breath of the Sky-father attending, and forthwith shed downward abundantly fine mist and spray! "Even so, shall white clouds float up from the great waters at the borders of the world, and clustering about the mountain terraces of the horizons be borne aloft and abroad by the breaths of the surpassing of soul-beings, and of the children, and shall hardened and broken be by thy cold, shedding downward, in rain-spray, the water of life, even into the hollow places of my lap! For therein chiefly shall nestle our children mankind and creature-kind, for warmth in thy coldness." 

    Lo! even the trees on high mountains near the clouds and the Sky-father crouch low toward the Earth-mother for warmth and protection! Warm is the Earth-mother, cold the Sky-father, even as woman is the warm, man the cold being! 

    "Even so!" said the Sky-father; "Yet not alone shalt thou helpful be unto our children, for behold!" and he spread his hand abroad with the palm downward and into all the wrinkles and crevices thereof he set the semblance of shining yellow corn-grains; in the dark of the early world-dawn they gleamed like sparks of fire, and moved as his hand was moved over the bowl, shining up from and also moving in the depths of the water therein. "See!" said he, pointing to the seven grains clasped by his thumb and four fingers, "by such shall our children be guided; for behold, when the Sun-father is not nigh, and thy terraces are as the dark itself (being all hidden therein), then shall our children be guided by lights--like to these lights of all the six regions turning round the midmost one--as in and around the midmost place, where these our children shall abide, lie all the other regions of space! Yea! and even as these grains gleam up from the water, so shall seed-grains like to them, yet numberless, spring up from thy bosom when touched by my waters, to nourish our children." Thus and in other ways many devised they for their offspring.

Clear vision in dark places - Vigilance - Suspicion - Seeking ancient mystical mysteries - Ability to live in solitude - Ability to see through masks
From Myths of the Cherokee, James Mooney, 1900 
Medicine of the Cherokee 
    The Wildcat once caught the Rabbit and was about to kill him, when the Rabbit begged for his life, saying: "I'm so small I would make only a mouthful for you, but if you let me go I'll show you where you can get a whole drove of Turkeys ." 

    So the Wildcat let him up and went with him to where the Turkeys were. When they came near the place the Rabbit said to the Wildcat, "Now, you must do just as I say. Lie down as if you were dead and don't move, even if I kick you, but when I give, the word jump up and catch the large stone there." 

    The Wildcat agreed and stretched out as if dead, while the Rabbit gathered some rotten wood and crumbled it over his eyes and nose to make them look flyblown, so that the Turkeys would think he had been dead some time. 

    Then the Rabbit went over to the Turkeys and said, in a sociable way, "Here, I've found our old enemy, the Wildcat, lying dead in the trail. Let's have a dance over him." 

    The Turkeys were very doubtful, but finally went with him to where the Wildcat was lying in the road as if dead. 

    Now, the Rabbit had a good voice and was a great dance leader, so he said, "I'll lead the song and you dance around him." The Turkeys thought that fine, so the Rabbit took a stick to beat time and began to sing: "Glgi'na hasuyak', Glgi'na hasuyak' (pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler)." 

    "Why do you say that?" said the old Turkey . "O, that's all right," said the Rabbit, "that's just the way he does, and we sing about it." 

    He started the song again and the Turkeys began to dance around the Wildcat. When they had gone around several times the Rabbit said, "Now go up and hit him, as we do in the war dance." 

    So the Turkeys, thinking the Wildcat surely dead, crowded in close around him and the old gobbler kicked him. Then the Rabbit drummed hard and sang his loudest, "Pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler," and the Wildcat jumped up and caught the Gobbler. 

Earth Creativity - Feminine courage - Abundance
Knowledge Generosity Hospitality - Sharing work 
Courage Strength Challenge - Survival Giving for the greater good
As told by: Joseph Chasing Horse- Lakota Sioux
     We Lakota people have a prophecy about the white buffalo calf. How that prophecy originated was that we have a sacred bundle, a sacred peace pipe, that was brought to us about 2,000 years ago by what we know as the White Buffalo Calf Woman.

    The story goes that she appeared to two warriors at that time. These two warriors were out hunting buffalo, hunting for food in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, and they saw a big body coming toward them. And they saw that it was a white buffalo calf. As it came closer to them, it turned into a beautiful young Indian girl.

    That time one of the warriors thought bad in his mind, and so the young girl told him to step forward. And when he did step forward, a black cloud came over his body, and when the black cloud disappeared, the warrior who had bad thoughts was left with no flesh or blood on his bones. The other warrior kneeled and began to pray.

    And when he prayed, the white buffalo calf who was now an Indian girl told him to go back to his people and warn them that in four days she was going to bring a sacred bundle.

    So the warrior did as he was told. He went back to his people and he gathered all the elders and all the leaders and all the people in a circle and told them what she had instructed him to do. And sure enough, just as she said she would, on the fourth day she came.

    They say a cloud came down from the sky, and off of the cloud stepped the white buffalo calf. As it rolled onto the earth, the calf stood up and became this beautiful young woman who was carrying the sacred bundle in her hand.

    As she entered into the circle of the nation, she sang a sacred song and took the sacred bundle to the people who were there to take of her. She spent four days among our people and taught them about the sacred bundle, the meaning of it.

    She taught them seven sacred ceremonies.

    One of them was the sweat lodge, or the purification ceremony. One of them was the naming ceremony, child naming. The third was the healing ceremony. The fourth one was the making of relatives or the adoption ceremony. The fifth one was the marriage ceremony. The sixth was the vision quest. And the seventh was the sundance ceremony, the people's ceremony for all of the nation.

    She brought us these seven sacred ceremonies and taught our people the songs and the traditional ways. And she instructed our people that as long as we performed these ceremonies we would always remain caretakers and guardians of sacred land. She told us that as long as we took care of it and respected it that our people would never die and would always live.

    When she was done teaching all our people, she left the way she came. She went out of the circle, and as she was leaving she turned and told our people that she would return one day for the sacred bundle. And she left the sacred bundle, which we still have to this very day.

The Native Americans used every part of the buffalo they hunted and thus buffalo became a symbol for abundance, prayer, and gratitude. When you are attracted to buffalo you are being asked to renew your connection to higher power through prayer and thankfulness for all you have. In doing so, you will attract more into your life. Buffalo teaches that what you need will always be provided.
Native American Lore 
    A long time ago there were no stones on the earth. The mountains, hills, and valleys were not rough, and it was easy to walk on the ground swiftly. There were no small trees at that time either. All the bushes and trees were tall and straight and were at equal distances. So a man could travel through a forest without having to make a path. 

    At that time, a large buffalo roamed over the land. From the water, he had obtained his spirit power--the power to change anything into some other form. He would have that power as long as he only drank from a certain pool. 

    In his wanderings, Buffalo often travelled across a high mountain. He liked this mountain so much that one day he asked it, "Would you like to be changed into something else?" 

    "Yes," replied the mountain. "I would like to be changed into something nobody would want to climb over." 

    "All right," said Buffalo . "I will change you into something hard that I will call 'stone.' You will be so hard that no one will want to break you and so smooth that no one will want to climb you." 

    So Buffalo changed the mountain into a large stone. "And I give you the power to change yourself into anything else as long as you do not break yourself." 

    Only buffaloes lived in this part of the land. No people lived here. On the other side of the mountain lived men who were cruel and killed animals. The buffaloes knew about them and stayed as far away from them as possible. But one day Buffalo thought he would like to see these men. He hoped to make friends with them and persuade them not to kill buffaloes. 

    So he went over the mountain and traveled along a stream until he came to a lodge. There lived an old woman and her grandson. The little boy liked Buffalo , and Buffalo liked the little boy and his grandmother. He said to them, "I have the power to change you into any form you wish. What would you like most to be?" 

    "I want always to be with my grandson. I want to be changed into anything that will make it possible for me to be with him, wherever he goes." 

    "I will take you to the home of the buffaloes," said their guest. "I will ask them to teach the boy to become a swift runner. I will ask the water to change the grandmother into something, so that you two can always be together." 

    So Buffalo, the grandmother, and the little boy went over the mountain to the land of the buffaloes. 

    "We will teach you to run swiftly," they told the boy, "if you will promise to keep your people from hunting and killing buffaloes." 

    "I promise," said the boy. 

    The buffaloes taught him to run so fast that not one of them could keep up with him. The old grandmother could follow him wherever he went, for she had been changed into Wind. 

    The boy stayed with the buffaloes until he became a man. Then they let him go back to his people, reminding him of his promise. Because he was such a swift runner, he became a leader of the hunters. They called him Eagle Wing. 

    One day the chief called Eagle Wing to him and said to him, "My son, I want you to take the hunters to the buffalo country. We have never been able to kill buffaloes because they run so very fast. But you too can run fast. If you will kill some buffaloes and bring home the meat and the skins, I will adopt you as my son. And when I die, you will become chief of the tribe." 

    Eagle Wing wanted so much to become chief that he pushed from his mind his promise to the buffaloes. He started out with the hunters, but he climbed the mountain so fast that they were soon left far behind. On the other side of the mountain, he saw a herd of buffaloes. They started to run in fright, but Eagle Wing followed them and killed most of them. 

    Buffalo, the great one who got his power from the water, was away from home at the time of the hunt. On his way back he grew so thirsty that he drank from some water on the other side of the mountain not from his special pool. When he reached home and saw what the hunter had done, he became very angry. He tried to turn the men into grass, but he could not. Because he had drunk from another pool, he had lost his power to transform. 

    Buffalo went to the big stone that had once been a mountain. 

    "What can you do to punish the hunter for what he has done?" he asked Stone. 

    "I will ask the trees to tangle themselves so that it will be difficult for men to travel through them," answered Stone. "I will break myself into many pieces and scatter myself all over the land. Then the swift runner and his followers cannot run over me without hurting their feet." 

    "That will punish them," agreed Buffalo . 

    So Stone broke itself into many pieces and scattered itself all over the land. Whenever the swift runner, Eagle Wing, and his followers tried to run over the mountain, stones cut their feet. Bushes scratched and bruised their bodies. 

    That is how Eagle Wing was punished for not keeping his promise to Buffalo.

     Learning to take better care of yourself and to receive. 


Cats have been called the "guardians of the spirit and good fortune." They see energy and they know how to take good care of themselves. If you are suddenly drawn to cats you may need to be more protective of your own time or resources, or you may be learning to take better care of yourself and to receive.



Gathering - Ability to regulate usage - Saving for future use- Ability to carry ones nourishment (both spiritual and physical) with them - Ability to see both light and shadow - Mobility Cuteness 
    Long ago when animals could talk, a bear was walking along. Now it has always been said that bears think very highly of themselves. Since they are big and strong, they are certain that they are the most important of the animals. 

    As this bear went along turning over big logs with his paws to look for food to eat, he felt very sure of himself. "There is nothing I cannot do," said this bear. 

    "Is that so?" said a small voice. Bear looked down. There was a little chipmunk looking up at Bear from its hole in the ground. 

    "Yes," Bear said, "that is true indeed." He reached out one huge paw and rolled over a big log. "Look at how easily I can do this. I am the strongest of all the animals. I can do anything. All the other animals fear me." 

    "Can you stop the sun from rising in the morning?" said the Chipmunk. 

    Bear thought for a moment. "I have never tried that," he said. "Yes, I am sure I could stop the sun from rising." 

    "You are sure?" said Chipmunk. 

    "I am sure," said Bear. "Tomorrow morning the sun will not rise. I, Bear, have said so." Bear sat down facing the east to wait. 

    Behind him the sun set for the night and still he sat there. The chipmunk went into its hole and curled up in its snug little nest, chuckling about how foolish Bear was. All through the night Bear sat. Finally the first birds started their songs and the east glowed with the light which comes before the sun. 

    "The sun will not rise today," said Bear. He stared hard at the glowing light. "The sun will not rise today." 

    However, the sun rose, just as it always had. Bear was very upset, but Chipmunk was delighted. He laughed and laughed. 

    "Sun is stronger than Bear," said the chipmunk, twittering with laughter. Chipmunk was so amused that he came out of his hole and began running around in circles, singing this song: 

    "The sun came up, The sun came up. Bear is angry, But the sun came up." 

     While Bear sat there looking very unhappy, Chipmunk ran around and around, singing and laughing until he was so weak that he rolled over on his back. Then, quicker than the leap of a fish from a stream, Bear shot out one big paw and pinned him to the ground. 

    "Perhaps I cannot stop the sun from rising," said Bear, "but you will never see another sunrise." 

    "Oh, Bear," said the chipmunk. "oh, oh, oh, you are the strongest, you are the quickest, you are the best of all of the animals. I was only joking." But Bear did not move his paw. "Oh, Bear," Chipmunk said, "you are right to kill me, I deserve to die. Just please let me say one last prayer to Creator before you eat me." 

    "Say your prayer quickly," said Bear. "Your time to walk the Sky Road has come!" 

    "Oh, Bear," said Chipmunk, "I would like to die. But you are pressing down on me so hard I cannot breathe. I can hardly squeak. I do not have enough breath to say a prayer. If you would just lift your paw a little, just a little bit, then I could breathe. And I could say my last prayer to the Maker of all, to the one who made great, wise, powerful Bear and the foolish, weak, little Chipmunk. 

    "Bear lifted up his paw. He lifted it just a little bit. That little bit, though, was enough. Chipmunk squirmed free and ran for his hole as quickly as the blinking of an eye. Bear swung his paw at the little chipmunk as it darted away. He was not quick enough to catch him, but the very tips of his long claws scraped along Chipmunk's back leaving three pale scars. 

    To this day, all chipmunks wear those scars as a reminder to them of what happens when one animal makes fun to another. 

Cougar Mother and Babe

Wise leadership power without ego - Balancing power, intention, strength - Gaining self-confidence - Freedom from guilt - Cunning


Cougar was the Master Hunter, known for its high intelligence, its knowledge of other animal and life forms, its physical prowess, its strength of will, and its intuitive ability. 

Cougar sees the maintenance of its territory as essential for its survival. Poshaiankia, the father of the Medicine Societies, designated Cougar the duty of carrying messages from humans to the higher spirits, because of this animals personal power, superior knowledge, strength of will, and steadfastness. 

Therefore, Cougar represents the link between ourselves and the most powerful spirits in Zuni Mythology: Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Originator of All.

At the time Cougar comes into their lives, Cougar people are often shy loners. Though working Cougar will transform them outwardly, they always tend to be people who are "alone in a crowd."

When seeking a goal, Cougar people are wary and secretive as they access the situation, and wait for the moment to strike, but when there is a choice to be made, they need to learn to take that leap, to assert themselves. Decisiveness is another Cougar lesson.

Cougar tends to tire quickly when chasing prey, this is a message to conserve strength and not overdo, but instead rest and return to the hunt later.

Despite Cougar's solitary nature in the wild, Cougars often become leaders of others. This tends to happen, not through seeking positions of power, but because others see them striding confidently upon our paths and follow. Cougar medicine will tend to attract lessons dealing with balance of power. There will be those who envy their growing strengths or wish to maintain the status quo.

Cougar people should also be aware of their own tendency to be overly forceful at times, and their impatience with others whom they do not see as being proactive enough or not carrying their own weight. When Cougar people have a cause in mind, they leap forward with swiftness and power, and expect other to do so as well.

At it's best expression, (much like the Hermit card in Tarot) Cougar energy says, "I am going there, follow me if you will, but do not follow in my footsteps, for your path must be your own. Seek instead your high goal and I will aid you on the way if I am able."


The mountain lion is a sleek and graceful cat with amazing balance. He knows how to manage his energy by sitting for long periods of time waiting for prey, then pouncing when the right opportunity comes along. He teaches us about the balance between action and rest. He knows about right timing. 

The female mountain lion encourages the young to leave the den. She is always watchful and ready to save them from danger, but she allows them to grow in independence. This is the mark of the true leader.. 



The cow is the nurturing mother goddess who reminds you to be gentle with yourself and to take better care of yourself. If she shows up around you, slow down, take joy in simple pleasures, and pay attention to your needs. 


Understanding that all things are sacred--yet nothing is sacred - 
Teaching that only when all masks have fallen will we connect with The Source - Intelligence - Singing humans into being - Childhood trust in truth - Teaching us how to rear our young - Brings rain - 
Ability to laugh at ones own mistakes - Placing the North Star - Shape-shifting - Stealth 
     Long ago, when man was newly come into the world, there were days when he was the happiest creature of all. Those were the days when spring brushed across the willow tails, or when his children ripened with the blueberries in the sun of summer, or when the goldenrod bloomed in the autumn haze.

    But always the mists of autumn evenings grew more chill, and the sun's strokes grew shorter. Then man saw winter moving near, and he became fearful and unhappy. He was afraid for his children, and for the grandfathers and grandmothers who carried in their heads the sacred tales of the tribe. Many of these, young and old, would die in the long, ice-bitter months of winter.

    Coyote, like the rest of the People, had no need for fire. So he seldom concerned himself with it, until one spring day when he was passing a human village. There the women were singing a song of mourning for the babies and the old ones who had died in the winter. Their voices moaned like the west wind through a buffalo skull, prickling the hairs on Coyote's neck.

    "Feel how the sun is now warm on our backs," one of the men was saying. "Feel how it warms the earth and makes these stones hot to the touch. If only we could have had a small piece of the sun in our teepees during the winter."

    Coyote, overhearing this, felt sorry for the men and women. He also felt that there was something he could do to help them. He knew of a faraway mountain-top where the three Fire Beings lived. These Beings kept fire to themselves, guarding it carefully for fear that man might somehow acquire it and become as strong as they. Coyote saw that he could do a good turn for man at the expense of these selfish Fire Beings.

    So Coyote went to the mountain of the Fire Beings and crept to its top, to watch the way that the Beings guarded their fire. As he came near, the Beings leaped to their feet and gazed searchingly round their camp. Their eyes glinted like bloodstones, and their hands were clawed like the talons of the great black vulture.

    "What's that? What's that I hear?" hissed one of the Beings.

    "A thief, skulking in the bushes!" screeched another.

     The third looked more closely, and saw Coyote. But he had gone to the mountain-top on all fours, so the Being thought she saw only an ordinary coyote slinking among the trees.

    "It is no one, it is nothing!" she cried, and the other two looked where she pointed and also saw only a grey coyote. They sat down again by their fire and paid Coyote no more attention.

    So he watched all day and night as the Fire Beings guarded their fire. He saw how they fed it pine cones and dry branches from the sycamore trees. He saw how they stamped furiously on runaway rivulets of flame that sometimes nibbled outwards on edges of dry grass. He saw also how, at night, the Beings took turns to sit by the fire. Two would sleep while one was on guard; and at certain times the Being by the fire would get up and go into their teepee, and another would come out to sit by the fire.

    Coyote saw that the Beings were always jealously watchful of their fire except during one part of the day. That was in the earliest morning, when the first winds of dawn arose on the mountains. Then the Being by the fire would hurry, shivering, into the teepee calling, "Sister, sister, go out and watch the fire." But the next Being would always be slow to go out for her turn, her head spinning with sleep and the thin dreams of dawn.

    Coyote, seeing all this, went down the mountain and spoke to some of his friends among the People. He told them of hairless man, fearing the cold and death of winter. And he told them of the Fire Beings, and the warmth and brightness of the flame. They all agreed that man should have fire, and they all promised to help Coyote's undertaking.

    Then Coyote sped again to the mountain-top. Again the Fire Beings leaped up when he came close, and one cried out, "What's that? A thief, a thief!"

    But again the others looked closely, and saw only a grey coyote hunting among the bushes. So they sat down again and paid him no more attention.

    Coyote waited through the day, and watched as night fell and two of the Beings went off to the teepee to sleep. He watched as they changed over at certain times all the night long, until at last the dawn winds rose.

    Then the Being on guard called, "Sister, sister, get up and watch the fire."

    And the Being whose turn it was climbed slow and sleepy from her bed, saying, "Yes, yes, I am coming. Do not shout so."

    But before she could come out of the teepee, Coyote lunged from the bushes, snatched up a glowing portion of fire, and sprang away down the mountainside.

    Screaming, the Fire Beings flew after him. Swift as Coyote ran, they caught up with him, and one of them reached out a clutching hand. Her fingers touched only the tip of the tail, but the touch was enough to turn the hairs white, and coyote tail-tips are white still. Coyote shouted, and flung the fire away from him. But the others of the People had gathered at the mountain's foot, in case they were needed. Squirrel saw the fire falling, and caught it, putting it on her back and fleeing away through the tree-tops. The fire scorched her back so painfully that her tail curled up and back, as squirrels' tails still do today.

    The Fire Beings then pursued Squirrel, who threw the fire to Chipmunk. Chattering with fear, Chipmunk stood still as if rooted until the Beings were almost upon her. Then, as she turned to run, one Being clawed at her, tearing down the length of her back and leaving three stripes that are to be seen on chipmunks' backs even today. Chipmunk threw the fire to Frog, and the Beings turned towards him. One of the Beings grasped his tail, but Frog gave a mighty leap and tore himself free, leaving his tail behind in the Being's hand---which is why frogs have had no tails ever since.

    As the Beings came after him again, Frog flung the fire on to Wood. And Wood swallowed it.

    The Fire Beings gathered round, but they did not know how to get the fire out of Wood. They promised it gifts, sang to it and shouted at it. They twisted it and struck it and tore it with their knives. But Wood did not give up the fire. In the end, defeated, the Beings went back to their mountain-top and left the People alone.

    But Coyote knew how to get fire out of Wood. And he went to the village of men and showed them how. He showed them the trick of rubbing two dry sticks together, and the trick of spinning a sharpened stick in a hole made in another piece of wood. So man was from then on warm and safe through the killing cold of winter.

 Almost universally the coyote is the trickster or the sacred clown. His antics make us laugh and he reminds us not to take life so seriously. 

If coyote comes into your life things may look all messed up for awhile until you discover that life is really working in your favor. Develop a sense of humor and go with the flow. Divine wisdom doesn't always agree with conventional logic.
Canku Ota (Many Paths) 
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America 
November 2, 2002 - Issue 73 
    Not many animals liked Coyote. Some thought he was foolish and others thought he was boastful. The Squirrels didn't like him because he was mean to them. 

     One day when he was out walking, Coyote saw the Squirrels making lots of noise and rushing around under a tree. 

    "Quick! Quick! Throw that rope over the branch!" cried one. "I need a bag! I need a bag now!" cried another. 

    They scurried around, tripping and falling over each other as they tied small bags onto the ends of several ropes, then threw the other ends over the branches. 

    "What are you stupid Squirrels up to now?" asked Coyote. "We haven't got time to stop and talk Mr. Coyote," squeaked one mouse, throwing a rope over another branch. "Haven't you heard? North Wind is on his way. He's going to throw hailstones as big as a bear's paw at all the animals! We're going to climb into these bags and pull ourselves up under the branches, so the hailstones can't hit us." 

    Fearing the hailstones, Coyote said "I'll join you." All the Squirrels stopped dead in their tracks. "Ohhh! I don't know about that," they squeaked. "If you don't let me, I'll be mean to you again," shouted Coyote. 

    "Alright. You can join us," squeaked the Squirrels. "But you'll have to get your own bag and rope because we don't have anything big enough or strong enough to hold you." "No problem," said Coyote. "I've got everything I need at home". "Then hurry Mr. Coyote, because North Wind will be here any minute." 

    Coyote rushed off home. The Squirrels waited until he was out of sight, then fell over squeaking with laughter. When they saw him coming back they picked themselves up and pretended to tie more bags. 

    "You must wait until last and pull yourself up, Mr. Coyote, because you are too heavy," said the Squirrels. "No. I'll go first," said Coyote. "North Wind is fast and could get here before I'm protected. If all of you hold the end of the rope you can pull me up." 

    The Squirrels shook their heads doubtfully. Coyote yelled "do it, or I'll be mean to you!" "Alright," said the Squirrels. Coyote got into the bag and the Squirrels tied the rope around the top of it. A Squirrel picked up a small stone and threw it at the bag. 

    "Ouch," said Coyote "I felt a hailstone already. Quick, get me up under the tree!" The Squirrels pulled on the rope until Coyote swung off the ground. Then they tied the end of the rope around the tree trunk. 

    The Squirrels picked up stones and threw them at the bag. "Ooowww! Ooowww!" howled Coyote. "The hailstones hurt." "Be brave Mr Coyote. The storm will pass soon," said the Squirrels. And they picked up bigger stones to throw at the bag. "Ooowww, my head! Oooww, my back!" howled Coyote. Finally they stopped throwing stones and one of the Squirrels said, "North Wind has gone now, we can come down." 

  When Coyote's bag was on the ground and the rope untied, Coyote slowly crawled out onto the ground, all battered and bruised. "I thought I was going to die," he said. "They must have been the biggest hailstones ever!" 

   Coyote felt the ground. It was dry. He looked up at the blue sky and there wasn't a cloud to be see. "How could this be? We've just had a hailstorm," he said. 

   "We tricked you, you dumb old Coyote," yelled the Squirrels as they scurried off into their holes, laughing. 

   "I'll get you for this," howled Coyote, feeling his sore head. "But not today". "Ooww, my sore head. Ooow, my sore back. Ooow, my sore nose" he cried as he slowly hobbled home to bed. 

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