The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~ Hippocrates
As a child growing up in the backwoods, and I do mean the backwoods of Kentucky, I was fully aware of my Cherokee heritage. However, it was not something we flaunted or talked about in public. My mother rarely even admitted to her long line of impressive Cherokee ancestors. My father who had a majority of Cherokee, also added a sprinkling of Irish and Scot ancestry to the family bloodline. Cherokee, Irish and Scot? A lethal combination I assure you. I was later to learn that while we were, and still are proud of our Cherokee ancestry, it was something we kept private in the family, not wanting to draw attention to ourselves in case the government would come knocking on our door in the middle of the night and send us packing to some reservation. To this day when asking questions my mother continues to have a difficult time with it all, though she is a wealth of information once I get the flood gate to open up. Information I want to chronicle for my children and my children’s children as my mother is not getting any younger. Neither am I for that matter.
I thought to give an overview of a few of our beliefs in this post. Now, mind you, these are traditional beliefs deeply rooted in our culture and only a few.
The numbers four and seven are important to the Cherokee and are repeated in stories, myths and ceremonies. The number seven represents the seven clans of the Cherokee. Four represents the cardinal directions, north, south, east and west. In addition to the four cardinal directions there are three more. Up (the Upper World), down( the Lower World) and center (where we live and where you always are).
The number seven also represents the height of purity and sacredness which is a difficult level to attain. In olden times it was believed that only the owl and cougar had attained this level and hold special meaning to my people. It is believed that they are the only two animals to stay awake for the seven nights of creation, as the others had fallen asleep. Because of this, they are nocturnal in their habits and both have excellent night vision.
Cedar, pine, spruce, holly and laurel trees carry leaves all year-long. These plants, too, stayed awake during the seven nights of creation and were given special power, and are used in ceremonies and medicine still. Cedar is the most sacred of all, as in ancient days it was used to carry the honored dead.
It is said Cherokee like things orderly, kept separated and in their proper place. I can attest to that lol. The circle is important to us. No one is in front or behind, but side by side, together. Water, or any moving body of water is sacred to the Cherokee, as it is used in purification ceremonies.
I have included a link here that will go into a bit more detail about the history of my people if you are interested. It’s not a long view.
As you go about this week preparing for upcoming festivities remember to be kind to one another. Always choose to be kind. TWMA♥
I would like to thank:
Maitreya : Mesh Body ‘Lara’
Amara Beauty/Zoul Creations: Gabriela Skintone ’06 Caramel’
Lightstar : Indian Headband
LeLutka : VIBRATO ‘IronHotcake’
Arwen’s Creations : Nakooma Storyteller Dress ‘Gentle Deer’, Nakooma Hair Feather
Q: Poses : Gentle Soul includes horse
LumiPro : LumiPro 2016 HUD
Heart Garden: Giant Pine Forest, Riverbank Weeping Willow, Mature Oak Tree
Botanical : Aspen Trees Season Changing