September 23

[Gobetween] Long before sunset the camps have been struck, and the multitude has taken to a hundred trails heading for home. Every lodge was dismantled, stowed in a secret wooded place to be resurrected again. Group after group backed away, brooms in hands, sweeping away their traces. All that remains are the firepits that have … Continue Reading

September 22

[Darkling Light] In moments the Moon will return. We stand poised, spellstruck by the halo cresting the ridge. We see a sparkling edge, and then a true glimmer before a full blown orb ascends. She glows like a lover’s kiss. For many years we hauled the burden of who we are. We are tired, nearly … Continue Reading

September 21

[Darkling Light] I am so weary-worn I feel like a vaporous spirit drifting down a creek. As I struggle to reach the bank I watch my ancestors move as masked dancers through my dreams. Their whispered secrets shimmer like ripples in a moonglade and resound with the cadent melodies of sacred songs. I weep inconsolably, … Continue Reading

September 20

[Darkling Light] After five nights we have made fragile peace between the profane and prophetic. We are re-worked, rectified, as anticipatory lovers awaiting a promised bridebed. Our sparkle polished, we sense that we have been seduced by our confessors and we are happy. The drum has been struck and people have gathered again. The lighthearted … Continue Reading

September 19

[Darkling Light] Across the way I can see Sky Blue Fire tucked inside of her Wolf Clan and I know Fire Fox is sheltered from our eyes by that same impenetrable pack. As the spirit of dusk-down awakens, fire keepers, speaking in inaudible whispers to each other, quietly assemble a night-burn of juniper. Old men … Continue Reading

September 18

[Darkling Light] As all do, I linger in line waiting for a morning taste of the feast spread in all directions. Even as the sun shows his face in the matin blush I am shivering. The whimsy of wispy thought drifts through my mind with as little focus of attention as my visible breath that … Continue Reading

September 17

[Darkling Light] The chill of first light is slowly setting the stage for the Winter Wait; it seemingly flickered out only a day ago. It invokes memories of the Old Ones, long gone, remarking simply as they aged that the pace accelerated imperceptibly until it felt like they were running to the Ancient Ones in … Continue Reading

September 16

[Darkling Light] I simply cannot divert my eyes from Rosebay, the divinatory adept that drew out the wonder of the dazzling dance commencing with the second round. As he offers up his prayer, layer after layer of Clan Male dissipates in the smoke with the mystical effluent of the herbs gently sprinkled on the glowing … Continue Reading

September 15

[Darkling Light] A medicamental smoke ascends from a lambent alder ingle. Each plume carries dreams of serenity purging us from the doubt of difficult decisions. The season has come when all adversity is to be put to rest and clarity reborn. Alder flutes and rattles commence, invoking the spirit of the northwest wind, conjured to … Continue Reading

September 14

[Gobetween] It is impossible to describe, but the stillness is complete. There are five thousand people gathered around the Great Circle; the noise should be deafening, it had been. But the day breaks in silence. If anyone is talking they are speaking in whispers. The children are so quiet one would think they were planning … Continue Reading

September 13

[The talking stick is handed to Bird Chant] Those who fled east stayed near open water, the creeks, the river dunes, and the bogs, because the dense dark forest frightened them. They fished the coast and ventured up the inland waterways. Soon they made dug out vessels lined with clay so that they could keep … Continue Reading

September 12

[The talking stick is handed to Longbow] Those who fled west hugged the rich coast. They made tools of bone from deer, elk, auroch, and birds. The people fashioned barbed points from deer antler; they hunted beaver, roebuck, and boar. The surrounding forest brought them wolf and lynx, bear and fox, pine marten, badger and … Continue Reading

September 11

[ The talking stick is handed to Shadow Glass] We came from another world; a place before memory. It now lives beneath the sea. It is said that the old world offered the finest hunting, fishing and fowling grounds on Earth. Then the Earth was a vast tundra where roamed great shaggy beasts and legendary … Continue Reading

September 10

[The talking stick is passed to Star Stalker] The last of our relatives made their way across the water in the north in skin covered round vessels. With them came the breeds of domesticated animals that have come to be imprisoned in the farming community. Cows, sheep, goats and swine made the passage, as did … Continue Reading

September 9

[The talking stick is passed to Burnt Knife] We are a quiet people. Sound has power, so much so it can be wielded. Our people pray before they speak knowing that their words change the world around them. Speaking implies claiming that to which the word refers. Names are rarely uttered, medicine epithets almost never … Continue Reading

September 8

[Gobetween] With only a week of waiting left all of the camps are alive with storytellers. When the evening meal is done and the sun has set, firemen build up the blazes around which everyone gathers to listen to the Old Ones’ tales. As I scan the circumference of the Great Circle I wonder how … Continue Reading

September 5

[Gobetween] My last family member is Blue Ice. Not so many years ago Blue Ice was apprenticed to Burnt Knife, preparing to one day become the Alpha Male for Clan Greihound. He had been born premature to a Hawthorn woman in a year when winter stayed late. The river had run slow and thick with … Continue Reading

September 3

[Gobetween] It is good to be back and so completely surrounded by my clan, the clowns, Moondog, Darkling Light, and the Twilight Women. The immense gathering has gained momentum; thousands are officially camped on the Great Circle for the next month. And thousands more will come in soon. I have never felt such consuming joy … Continue Reading

August 13

[Darkling Light] Moondog wishes he had traveled to the coast with his old clan. As a clown he could have. But he is Greihound through and through, sees himself that way, thinks and feels as he was raised to do, and would want the Greihound to see him that way. He knows he doesn’t belong … Continue Reading

August 9

[Gobetween] The trek to the coast was hard, even our three youngest are worn out from a fifty mile hike coming on the heels of a four day ritual dance. It was painful watching Burnt knife and Star Stalker walk this far, suffering the ravages of age and perennially haunted by their runner years. The … Continue Reading

August 7

[Darkling Light] It is said that centuries, even millennia ago all of our people lived on the Great Circle, banding together, facing the challenge of survival as a single breathing entity. Our long sought accomplishment was well rewarded with many healthy babies. Eventually group after group drifted away, founding the villages and pioneering new lives. … Continue Reading

August 5

[Darkling Light} Dancing Grass and I have made it back! I can see Gobetween sprinting across the Great Circle in my direction. In spite of the whispered gossip she is still dressed like an Antelope buck in my behalf. It gives such joy. I drop my things; Gobetween and I are about to have a … Continue Reading

July 28

[Darkling Light] The foredoomed danced of the Winter Wait had finally flickered out and faded into the crisp morning mist of first light. With it went the feathered figurants followed by the Spirit of Ice and his consorts Deathblow and Wizened. They had taken so many of our people. I know that in the quietude … Continue Reading

July 21

[Darkling Light] My sorrow of having left Gobetween and Moondog is a weight I cannot afford to carry. I will return to them for the Showoff Dance, for the long awaited ritual, for the rest of my life. I wonder how our people will take to that. I have spent my life traveling the long … Continue Reading

July 15

[Moon Shadow] I have a treasure, a painted deer hide that depicts celestial events. Years ago my mother gave it to me and said that someday I would need it. The day has come. Star Stalker and Shadow Glass have arrived to work their cosmological magic with the other astronomers including the Sun and Cloud … Continue Reading

July 8

[Sun Dog] The Bearberry women came in today, among them my grandmother. She is hard to describe, a fierce dark spirit handler who has been ravaged by old age. And while her smile is wide and sincere, her eyes are black and intense, suggesting that ancient savagery is alive and well. My grandmother openly despises … Continue Reading

July 1

[Sings-in-Trees] It is said that Spirit Chalk and Bird Chant were twins born by accident on two different occasions, moving old to new and new to old like ripples on a pond. Spirit Chalk had been born to the Salt Marsh Willow Clan for the Greihound. He was as gentle and elusive as the tidal … Continue Reading

June 29

[Gobetween] Hundreds have arrived, men and women, young and old, loaded under with materials to build their camps. The enclaves of eighteen societies have converged on the Greihound camp. It is a happy afternoon; a chance to reacquaint with friends and meet many I have never before met. Conversations move like a swirling cloud. Joyful … Continue Reading

June 28

[Gobetween] We have had a few quiet days; just the three of us with those splendid young warriors. But Dancing Grass and a dozen Oak boys arrived at dawn. Darkling Light will be moving on and we are faced with building a village. I sense a wave of humanity moving this way and we must … Continue Reading

June 26

[Darkling Light] Our days here have already fled to the Dreamtime as though carried away on a swift current that moves to a secret destination. The three of us are on the trail that will eventually take us to the Great Circle and on to the work at hand. Moondog and Gobetween have a village … Continue Reading

June 21

[Darkling Light] I wonder how many snows ago Moondog and I dreamed together of Gobetween?  Then, like now, it was summer solstice. I stand here on the river road waiting impatiently for them to arrive. In this high country the air is always moving as though it seeks the answer to some pressing mystery. The … Continue Reading

June 15

[Sundog] I enjoy fishing and have a favored spot a few miles south of the Great Circle. There the river managed to cut Herself a path through the old basalt just as the Old Granite Range begins to dominate the landscape. It is perhaps the most challenging stretch of the river road with its rapid … Continue Reading

June 10

[Moon Shadow] Sun Dog and Sings-in-Trees have gone fishing. Lately the catch has been good, the roach and chud are plentiful, and every now and then we have bream and grayling. I have a hunger for trout but it has remained elusive. I am left here to poke fire. It has become too easy now … Continue Reading

June 9

[Darkling Light] Dancing Grass and I turned off the river road and picked up what was little more than a game trail. It meandered its way through the forest, stopping at streams and fern-filled glens, tarried in groves and made its way up the mountain. It followed the lines of energy imprinted on the Earth … Continue Reading

June 8

[Gobetween] Less than a half moon until Solstice and we find ourselves burrowing into the warmth of our intimate tangle. A damp chill has settled, we are reluctant to leave our nest. I can see spires of mist drifting down river, the spirits of plumed dancers with secrets to tell. The fog clings tenaciously to … Continue Reading

June 7

[Gobetween] I am a space borne cosmonaut, barnstorming through igneous star showers to walk this river road with my ancestors. Everywhere confluence nurtures the Life Blood of my people. She frolics north to the ocean as Moondog and I head south, into the Old Granite Range, home of the Oak and the Greihound, the Cloud … Continue Reading

June 6

[Darkling Light] Council is done; the outcome heavy handed. I am stricken. The Weaving Women stood their ground and the traditional clans will become nothing more than so many leaves scattered in a vast and endless forest. It rises from my heart to the center of heartbreak. I am unable to swallow it down, consumed … Continue Reading

June 5

[Darkling Light] I thought my heart would break when Dancing Grass and I left Moondog and Gobetween at the Great Circle. There I was the epitome of a seasoned, Antelope buck on the verge of weeping the inconsolable tears of a love-struck young girl suffering her first unrequited crush. I wanted to crumble into a … Continue Reading

June 4

[Moondog] In a few short weeks two camps grew out of the Earth. But that was nothing more than a way of speaking of it. The camps have always been there. When we quiet our thoughts and deliberation they can be seen, all of them, not just the two we have resurrected from the dust. … Continue Reading

May 30

[Moondog] Every clan and society had its own unrivaled configuration when it came to lodge construction. As they arrived we would defer to their specific designs and be merely a work crew. But pulling Oak clan lodges out of the Earth wouldn’t be a mystery for a team of Clan Oak’s finest sons and one … Continue Reading

May 23

[Gobetween] Today is a day to regroup; a way for Moondog and I to shift our focus away from Darkling Light’s departure and back toward the reason for being here. It is a day of both reflection and anticipation, less doing than doing so. All the young ones are worn out and I doubt we will … Continue Reading

May 22

[Darkling Light] Tomorrow I have to leave and already I am challenged by the wave of tears determined to engulf me. Such sadness never penetrated my youth, not even regarding Moondog. For many years we only saw each other in winter, and as adolescents for merely a few short weeks in summer. But the season … Continue Reading

May 21

[Gobetween] It is uncanny how a given population can swell so unnoticed that I find myself surprised by how many have come for this ritual. There are many more divine comics, a remarkable number of additional elders, all the previously absent Death Clan members, and others. My guess is that our initial handful has turned … Continue Reading

May 20

[Darkling Light] Soon foredawn will shake his sleepy head and day will be upon us. All the words have been spoken and the prayers made. It is the hour when ancestral spirits come in to sit with us, the matinal moment that brings sacred songs alive. The young ones are called too and find their … Continue Reading

May 19

[Gobetween] People are already settling in. I see the talking stick lying on the ground next to Burnt Knife’s feet. Talking circles have a life of their own and Burnt Knife is a savvy rector. He’ll wait until the energy concenters before he picks up that stick. The trinities seem to be grouping up, Bards, … Continue Reading

May 18

[Moondog] The season of the divine misfits begins today with the arrival of the clowns and the delectable rouges of Clan Female, the Twilight Women. Their dreamers have come as well and Dancing Grass. Our camp has swelled exponentially. Tomorrow we will throw the bones. No doubt a troupe of elders will show up too … Continue Reading

May 17

[Gobetween] We have put in some long, hard days building lodges for the troupe we expect any moment now. I have become proficient at this and find myself good help to Moondog and Darkling Light as we haul poles and brush. They have taught me how to split willow and braid it into the material … Continue Reading

May 11

[Gobetween] We had made the Great Circle last night and settled into the Greihound camp to sleep. I am the first to awaken and leave the lair to greet the sun. It is a cool, crisp morning and the circle, although deserted is alive with spirits and the memories of rituals concluded long ago. The … Continue Reading

May 10

[Moondog] It is early and still dark in the forest that stood guard over us all night. Gobetween remains in the depths of the dreamtime. She doesn’t stir even though I am touching her and running my inquisitive, hungry hands over her body. I can sense that she has made peace with the foreboding ancientness … Continue Reading

May 9

[Gobetween] The remoteness of this splendid country consumes me. Mountain spirits move like shadows cast by thought alone. The edge of periphery darts and dashes about as though the curious can’t resist our delectable presence. I try to catch them with a swift turn of my head or subtle shift in my eyes. But I … Continue Reading