#216242 - 02/12/0503:26 AMSpring Time and the Real Power
Feburary is here and the thoughts of spring lift our spirits. All over the world people are preparing for the rebirth of Hope, which accompanies the longer days. The Cherokee People are no exception.<br><br>Most Cherokee cermonies are conducted by men, but there is one very importaint ceremony which is only done by women. In the early spring, prior to the emergence of new shoots of grass, women wearing traditional beaded flowered clothing gather at the south side of the fire to sing and dance. Because women are the fertile life givers, they do this cermoney to give hope to Mother Earth so she will have the strength and will to begin again a new cycle of life.<br><br>This spirit cermoney also helps soothes the souls of the restless dead who sometimes have trouble letting go of this life and moving on.<br><br>We understand that just as Spring and new blooms justify the death of the plants, in Autumn, so to does the fertility of our People justify the past lives of our Ancestors. Thus we assure our loved ones who have passed into Spirt that just as the seasons continue one after the other so to does life continue. By dancing and chanting we satisfy those Spirts who have known their own Winter and help them to move on.<br><br>In the "Shining Times" before the white man came it was understood that women had great power. They owned all the property as well as the children. Women were the Clan Mothers who kept the society running smoothly, sat on councils, helped choose the chiefs and were highly respected by men.<br><br>But all that changed when the white invaders forced their male dominated belief system on our people. After centuries of respression, women tried to break free through what we know as "womens lib" but trying to be "just like a man" is not even near what our women are supposed to be doing.<br><br>Women have strong medicine and powers of their own, and this is what they need to reclaim. For when strong women add their powers to those of strong men then we will once again be in balance.<br><br>
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