Photos by Willard Van de Bogart
Click on photo for full view of Little Bear, and his brother Fred standing on sacred medicine circle in the Ventanna facing "Window to the West" July 26, 1992.
In the beginning of time, before man or anything else we as humans know in our present world had yet been formed, there was a vast universe known as the Star Nation. In this stellar world there was a great planet who was both a male and female entity. The male was named Tara-taruk; his wife was named Ahishma.
After millions of years of growing and developing into a complete entity in total perfection, their creator, known as the Great Spirit, came to them and informed them that it was time for the next phase of the plan. He told them that it was time for them to give birth to children, but the only way they could have these children was to separate from each other. "Split in half is what you must do," said the Great Spirit to Tara-Taruk and Ahishma.
"Ahishma, I am going to send you out into the Star Nation. I will cover your soul with fire, earth, water and air. I will spread upon your back these four elements in the most beautiful fashion. I will create mountains, rivers, valleys, and oceans so that all your children can live and grow together, so that all your children can live and grow together harmoniously upon your back. I will spread the seeds of the Rock People, Tree, Plant and Herb people out in all four directions across your fertile body. I will plant the Fish People in your oceans, streams, and lakes. I will plant the seeds of the Creepy Crawlers underneath all of the above. Ahishma, most important of all, I will plant the Seeds of the Two Leggeds, to be known as Human Beings." These are the ones that are created in the most godlike fashion. I will plant these seeds deep in your womb. You will be mother and protector of these seeds."
"Tara-Taruk, you will stay here, in the place where you both were born in the heart of the Star Nation. You will be responsible for carrying for and sending the spark of life to your children. Ahishma, you will travel in a circle from East to West around Tara-Taruk's spirit body. Tara-Taruk, you will send out each day, from the heart, the spirit and warmth needed from your energizing sunrays to nurture and sprout the seeds of our children that I have planted deep in the womb of your wife Ahishma."
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This was going to be a very difficult thing for the both of them to do, to be separated for millions of years. Ahishma said to Tara-Taruk: "We must do this great deed, for it is all in the preparation of the great universal plan, and it is our part to nurture gods and our children."
They both decided to go along with the Creator's plan, so they spent the remaining time together in embrace. Then one day, the Creator came to them and said it was time for the separation. He said to them: "This separation is only temporary. When all of my children have grown into full maturity and are ready to return to me, you will both return to each other and live together in harmony and balance forever."
So in a bang and a flash, Ahishma split off and headed out into orbit. On her way to her new position, the Creator was shaping her for her new identity, using the four needed elements for the survival of her and the seeds. The first element he used was fire; this element was also her soul. Next Spirit used the element of earth. This came in the form of stone, soil, minerals--the nutrients. This he added in the shape of a ball, around her soul, of fire. He then added the element of water. This he spread around her entire body in the form of one vast ocean. This element was to be a protective element for all seeds in their embryo state. The water would also eventually be absorbed by all things in order to live. The final element was in the form of air. It was to be the element that gave all things the sacred breath of life. This element would come from the Tree People, the Plant People and the Herb People. And finally he placed a protective atmospheric ring around her body and aura.
All of these elements were an integral part of the plan that the Creator had laid out for all things to be alive on Mother Earth. All the elements that the Creator used were combined together in perfect balance. After he was done spreading the elements around Ahishma's body, he put a protective ring around her. This ring would keep all things in balance.
When the Creator was finished, he spoke to Ahishma. He gave her all the necessary instructions for caring for her new body. He told her how she was to care for her children, how to keep them healthy, and how everything he created on her body had to be kept in the sacred manner that he, the Creator, shaped it in.
When all things were set in action, the Creator gave a final talk to Ahishma and Tara-Taruk. He told them his universal plan for them and all of their children. He told of his plan for all the Two Legged tribes, the Winged tribes, Four Legged tribes, Fish tribes, Tree tribes, the Creepy Crawler tribes, the Rock and Herb people. Inside each of these tribes, he planted the knowledge of the universal plan. This knowledge included a universal language that all living things on Mother Earth would use to communicate. This language also would be the way to communicate with the Great Spirit, Ahishma, and Tara-Taruk.
He gave each of the tribes a specific teaching or truth that they would carry throughout their destiny on Earth. Each species of Animal, of Bird, of Tree, of Plant, and of each Two Legged would carry a portion of the whole truth.
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In the seeds of the Two Legged tribe, he created four races, four colors, four species of man- each representing an element of truth. He planted the seeds of the Two Leggeds deep in the center of Ahishma's womb. He placed them in a specific area which would become the center of the earth. These seeds would be the last to sprout.
When the Creator created these seeds, he did so in a fashion that they would sprout and grow up in the exact image of himself.
And so time went on . . .
And when the seeds were finally mature, the Great Mother Earth started having contractions. These contractions are known today as earthquakes. These contractions caused great eruptions from under the oceans, and over a long period of time, the mountains were born. Up shot these mountains in all four directions across Mother Earth. Great mountains they were indeed, that they almost reached the sky. As the result of all these mountains being born, lakes and rivers also were born. They were formed in the valleys and canyons of the mountains, and they spilled over and ran on their way back down to the sea and all things were connected. Storms were created so they could gather up the moisture from the oceans and carry their life-giving element back up to the mountains and valleys to water the seeds of life.
Throughout the ages, the seeds began sprouting as Father Sun sent down his life-giving energy, and things started developing beautifully on the back of Mother Earth as she nourished her children into full bloom. The trees were formed, the animals started to roam, the birds started flying, the fish started swimming and all things were living, learning and growing together in perfect harmony.
After a long time, when all the other children were alive and had grown into full maturity, it was time for the last of the Seed People to be born.
One morning, on the last day of Winter, Father Sun arose in the East and woke Mother Earth from her winter's nap. And with it he brought the news to Ahishma that when she was sleeping, the Creator gave him instructions for the birth of the Two Leggeds. He told Ahishma that the Creator had given him the souls of Man and that on the next day, the spring equinox, Tara-Taruk told Ahishma that they and all creatures were to have a ceremony for the Birth of Man tribe. This ceremony would take place at sunrise.
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Ahishma and Tara-Taruk asked for all the children of the Animal, Winged, Tree, Fish, Mineral, Rock, and Creepy Crawler worlds to be present and to help prepare for the birthing ceremony. They worked all the day and night preparing a beautiful altar in front of the birthing canal of Mother Earth. They gathered food, flowers, sage, cedar and abalone shells for the ceremony.
The next morning before daybreak all living creatures were present and gathered around in a great circle. They were singing chants and praying for Mother Earth. All of a sudden, Tara-Taruk crested over the sacred mountain of Pico Blanco, when Ahishma opened her eyes, heart, and womb to Tara-Taruk. They were lined up in perfect unison; First Man and First Woman awoke when they saw a great light coming from the top of the cave (Ahishma's womb) where they lay sleeping for so long.
Old Man Coyote heard sounds coming from below and looked down the canal and saw them. He went and got a pole with short branches and sent it down into the cave. Out of the cave came eight Two Leggeds, crawling out to the altar that was placed facing the East. All of the man's relatives were singing the sacred birthing song (he ya he ya heheh ya ho ya).
There were two yellow people, one male and one female; two black people; two red people; two white people. The animals helped them as they circled the altar, which was shaped like a wheel with a cross in the middle. Each color sat in a certain direction--East, West, North, and South.
Up in the sky, circling high above the universe, was a Great Eagle, the chief of Eagle Nation. Tara-Taruk asked the Great Eagle if he would carry the souls of man down from the heavens into the awaiting bodies of the Men. Eagle agreed and flew higher and higher until he reached Tara-Taruk, then cast down the first souls of man to the Chief Eagle. Chief Eagle clutched the souls of the man in his powerful talons and circled the universe four times, finally arriving on Earth from the East. The Great Eagle flew toward the altar where the two Leggeds were sitting around the wheel. As the Great Eagle flew over the altar and released the souls of man from his talons, the souls floated down to the awaiting bodies. This was the beginning of life for Two Leggeds, who were to be known as Human Beings.
It was the first day of life . . .
Time went by and the sun was high in the sky. The human beings awoke and stood up and raised their hands to the warming rays of the sun. They all went off in different directions. Some went down to a nearby river and washed off the afterbirth and took a drink of the clear cool water. Some spent the day walking around, feeling their bodies and checking out the surroundings. They walked through the forest and checked out the Tree People. They saw animals grazing about in the vast, flower-filled meadows. They went to the sea and looked into it and saw the many different types of fish. They look up into the sky and saw all kinds of birds flying about. All the things they visited that day they noticed were talking the same language, and strangely enough, they understood what they were all saying. They felt a deep love for all things. One thing that they noticed most was a deep vibrational love coming from below their feet. As they continued to investigate, they heard a soft voice coming from out of the place they were born. This voice was speaking the same language as everything they saw that day, except that the voice coming from below was more profound. The voice called them back down into the hole where they crawled out of earlier. They went back down into the hole, only to discover a beautifully designed lodge that was circular with four great poles in the center, holding up a perfectly symmetrical roof of Tree People, like the ones they saw in the forest. In the center of the poles was a beautiful fire coming up out of the ground. This fire was warming and comforting to the Human Beings.
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The Human Beings sat down around the fire once again in a circle. All of a sudden they heard a great soft voice coming from within the fire. This voice was so comforting and loving. The voice introduced herself as Ahishma, the Mother of All Things. She went on to explain to Man that this lodge is her womb, a place that they would always return. Man sat there in his Mother's womb and listened. She explained to them that she was their Eternal Mother, and she gave her children the sacred laws of caretakership, and the ways that man must always live on her back. She told them that during life on Earth, they were to return to her womb for healing and ceremony with her during important times throughout what was to be known as a year. This would be one trip around Father Sun. Man was a curious one, and he wanted to know who or what this thing was that she was calling Father Sun. She told them they would find out soon enough.
The Human Beings stayed in the lodge for four days and four nights as Ahishma revealed more of what the great plan entailed. During the four days and nights, all the animals were called into the Great Lodge, and one by one they introduced themselves and their families. There were animals from the Four Leggeds, from the Great Elephants, Buffaloes, Deer People, Squirrel People, Fox People, the Winged Tribe down to the tiny wise Hummingbird.
Even the Creepy Crawlers and the ones who live under the sea showed up to welcome their little brothers and sisters to the wonderfulness of life here on Mother Earth. They all feasted on good food from other beings who gave up their lives for all to live.
During this great ceremony, all the animals danced and told stories about the incredible lands and adventures of the Earth to the Human Beings. They asked the Two Leggeds to share in the dances. This they did and loved it so much that the results would last for thousands of years.
At dawn on the fifth day, Ahishma told the Two Leggeds that must journey to the top of the sacred mountain, Pico Blanco. She said that this would be a strenuous journey but with the help of Coyote, Hummingbird and Eagle, they would make it safely. This they must do in order to meet Father Sun.
This journey took many days and on the way their animal guides showed them how to identify many tribes of Plant and Herb People, who graciously offered their lives for medicine and healing to the Human Beings. The animal friends showed them how to make an offering to the Plant People before taking their lives. The Human Beings learned that all things on their mother's back were alive and no different them themselves. And when it got dark, the creatures of the night came and helped them find their way. The great Horned Owl, chief of the night beings, offered his services.
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Well before it was completely light, they reached the sacred peak. All of a sudden in the East, they saw a great ball of fire, just like the one in the lodge rising up over the horizon. As they looked on, the great bright light hit the mountain peak, and it hurt their eyes to look at it. They felt an overwhelming power and nurturing energy and warmth from the rays. In the light of day, they found themselves standing in a most spectacular place with a view in all directions. They could see forever. They couldn't believe how large their mother was and here in front of them was a beautiful altar and a large wheel made of stone, just like the one back at their birthplace. They immediately moved carefully around the wheel and sat down.
A great voice came from somewhere in the sky. This alarmed the Two Leggeds, as it was thundrous and scary. Man sat there, quiet and humble, in a sacred manner in front of his Father the Sky. The voice introduced himself as Tara-Taruk to his children. He went on to tell them over the next four days about his role in their lives. He told them that they would not see him but he would always be present, and that once a year, they should return to the mountain top to fast and pray and to seek his guidance.
On the morning of the fourth day, when they were seated around the Sacred Wheel of Life, he showed them how it worked. He told each race of Man about his individual responsibilities and their roles in the Great Wheel of Life plan. He showed them how the wheel was to be divided up into four equal portions. These portions would be the four truths and the four elements. He told them that each race of man would be sent out into the four directions. He told them that they would go to the four corners of the Earth and how they would create many more Human Beings. He then divided the sacred teachings into equal parts and gave one to each tribe, and said it in the following way:
He spoke to the yellow man and said: "Yellow Man, I am sending you to the East and I give you the sacred truth of Spirit. You must go out and master your portion, and when your brothers return, you are to share this teaching with him. I also give you the sacred element of Fire. You are responsible for this from now until the mending of the Sacred Hoop. Now go East where the sun rises and wait for your brothers to return."
He then spoke to the black man: "I am sending you South and giving you the sacred teaching of the Physical Body. You must go out and master this portion of the truth, and when your brothers return, share it with them. I am also giving you the sacred element of Water. You will be responsible from now until the mending of the Sacred Hoop. Now go south to where the sun sits high in the sky and make your home and wait for your brothers to return."
He spoke to the red man: "I am sending you West and giving you the sacred teaching of the Earth. You must go out and master caretakership of the Earth, and when your brothers return, share with them what you have learned. I am also giving you the sacred element of Earth that you are responsible for now until the mending of the Sacred Hoop. Now go West to where the sun sets and make your home and wait for your brothers to return."
Finally, he spoke to the white man: "I am sending you North and giving you the sacred teaching of the Mind. You must go out and master your portion of the truth. I am also giving you the sacred element of Air. This you will be responsible for from now until the mending of the Sacred Hoop." He then went on to tell the white man of his added responsibility. "White man, I am planting deep within your brain the seeds of migration. There will come a time when you and your brothers have mastered your elements and truths. You will feel the urge within to move on. You will travel from the North towards the East, to where you will find the land of your yellow brothers. Here, you will rejoice and share with each other. After a while, you will take your yellow brother and travel to the South, where you will find your black brothers. Share with them and rejoice. Then travel to the West and find your red brothers. It is here in the land of the red man that you will all learn from each other the equal portions of truth I have given you. Here today in the West, you will all live in harmony and balance until my return.
He went on to tell them more about the plan for life and warned them that they were all responsible for keeping their portion of truth sacred. They must pass down the truth to all the proceeding generations and they must remember that no one tribe alone has the only portion of the truth. He told his children that when they felt desperate and confused, to keep their feet rooted deeply in their Mother Earth and look to the Sky for spiritual guidance.
He then sent them into the four directions and that was the beginning of man's journey through what is known to the Two Leggeds as the Earth Walk.