the remainder of their first winter, life was extremely difficult,
but the tribe seemed to be coming together in a more harmonious
manner. Several inter-tribal romances even began to develop, which
inevitably led to some tensions between warriors. The tensions
began to relax some throughout the latter stages of that first
winter and spring brought a renewed spirit of purpose and even
a couple of expectant women!
the spiritually driven mission seemed to be overwhelming, the spiritual
leaders under Half Moon's direction began to build some strong feelings
of commitment to the purpose that they had been fortunate enough
to be chosen for. A vision was being created that all began to clearly
see. The future of all Native Americans lay squarely in their hands.
rest of the Native American nations were experiencing horrible,
deadly, degrading experiences. The white men were putting the Native
Americans onto worthless parcels of land called reservations. Conditions
were terrible, morale was poor and the indomitable Native American
spirit was in jeopardy. Even though the great spiritual leaders
of each tribe continued to try reassure everyone on the new reservations
and in the field about Redmans message, the memory of the
actual Tribe of the Eagle and the original story about the Legend
of the Eagle and the Snake (link to The Eagle and the Snake) began
to fade and simply be viewed as some old legend, or fantasy created
by medicine men in order to bring a sense of false hope.
spiritual leaders who had been present the night that Thunder delivered
the message from Redman to the Native American people slowly died
off through the years. Even though they tried to rekindle the message
of hope that The Tribe of the Eagle represented, ultimately, their
efforts were in vain.
Feather tried in vain to keep hope alive for his beloved Cheyenne
nation, but he was ultimately killed by the newly formed tribal
police who were willing to kill their own people in hopes of rewards
from the white man. Sky Dancer died after a short illness the following
year and Running Bear lived to an old age, but his message of hope
began to be viewed as the rambling illusions of some old crazy man.
Native American tribes that remained behind experienced many different
emotions through the years. Some became violently opposed to the
white mans laws and death seemed to haunt them as many of their
own had turned away from the true spirit of Native American life.
Too many adopted the white mans ways and essentially became red
skinned white men. Some of the red skinned white men even worked
for the white man and served as the hated tribal police.
tribal police were brutal. They were actually worse than the white
men themselves. The powers of the tribal police were extensive and
there was no real accountability for their actions. They killed
Native American men, women and even children with no possible recourse
available to the other Native Americans on the reservations.
disturbed the great Native American spiritual leaders who had left
the physical world and were trapped in the spirit world. From their
place in the spirit world, they worked hard to try to help many
Native Americans remember the truth. They also made certain that
these tribesmen would never forget the reality of what the white
men and the tribal police had done to them. The stolen land had
been rightfully theirs, yet the white men still took it from them.
The white man claimed to have "laws" that governed decisions,
yet the laws were simply fancy words that resulted in the same thing...stealing
from the Native Americans and giving nothing in return, except for
an occasional shameful offering of token settlements to appease
Native Americans who maintained the true spirit would never let
the past go. All of them knew of the legend of the Tribe of the
Eagle, but it was difficult for them, with any sense of rationality
to believe that the legend could be true. However, the hope of an
appearance of Redman was still held as the sign for a return to
the way it used to be.
the Native Americans suffered under the white mans rule, the tribal
police's brutality and the "laws" that were used against
the good Native Americans back at home, the Tribe of the Eagle began
to gel as a tribe and their sense of purpose became the focal point
of their lives. Every day they spent time individually and as a
group seeking strength and guidance from the spirit world for personal
and collective strength and courage to successfully accomplish their
mission. They feared for their loved ones back home, knowing that
the white men were winning the military campaign and that the inevitable
victory of the white man meant extreme hardships and even death
for their loved ones so far away.
longed for information about how things were going, but knew that
they could never allow themselves to be discovered. Half Moon knew
that their spiritual mission must be a success. He knew not when
Redman would return one day. No one else was really sure of that,
but he worked diligently to prepare them all for what he felt was
Moon's spiritual leadership and Raven Spirit's tribal leadership
became powerful and they were able to keep everyone focused on their
mission. As the tribe seemed to be doing well and Half Moon and
Raven Spirit were developing a great relationship, Half Moon decided
that it was time to reveal the secret art of shape shifting to Raven
was in the early spring of the second year of the Tribe of the Eagle
when Half Moon asked the great chief to meet him at the first light
of the next day. Raven Spirit did as Half Moon had requested and
the meeting took place at first light the following morning.
Moon explained to Raven Spirit that he held an ancient spiritual
treasure and he needed the great chief's wisdom as to how to properly
utilize it for the benefit of the tribe and their spiritually oriented
mission. Raven Spirit was receptive to helping Half Moon make the
decision, but was very curious as to what the spiritual treasure
Moon asked Raven Spirit to sit with him and Half Moon began a soft
chant accompanied by a distinct series of arm movements. Suddenly,
Half Moon turned into an eagle right before Raven Spirit's eyes.
At first Raven Spirit was alarmed. He didn't know exactly how to
respond, nor did he understand what had just happened. He simply
looked on in astonishment with a tinge of nervousness as the huge
eagle simply looked at him. First with one eye, then by turning
his head, the beautiful bird peered at him with his other eye.
a few anxious, silent moments, the eagle suddenly turned back into
Half Moon. Raven Spirit's eyes were enormous. He was filled with
questions and didn't know where to begin. Half Moon started the
conversation. He said "Raven Spirit, this is the secret, ancient
spiritual art called shape shifting. It is obvious that the art
can be abused and should only be knowledge available to a very limited
number of warriors. It was originally intended only for spiritual
leaders, but the enormity of our mission leads me to believe that
through our collective wisdom, we may find a pure purpose that will
benefit this mission. This is the wisdom that I seek from you."
Spirit was silent for a moment. He let Half Moon know that he also
felt that the art had a place in the Tribe of the Eagle. He went
on to ask Half Moon if the eagle was the only thing that he could
transform himself into. Half Moon told him that he could transform
himself into any creature on mother earth. Raven Spirit then asked
if the transformation could be done more swiftly, which would make
it valuable in a battle or dangerous situation. Half Moon told him
that through diligent practice, it could be done virtually in an
great chief was pleased and they agreed to meet again after careful
thought to decide how to proceed next. Raven Spirit and Half Moon
decided to take their most trusted braves and teach them the art.
They both felt that the art would prove very valuable as time passed.
Part 3 To Be Continued
2003 Geoff Hampton
Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and
business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St. Mary's
Health & Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular
columnist for the wellness/fitness Website www.fitcommerce.com
as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at GEOFFLHAMPTON@aol.com
His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup
Challenge can be reviewed at www.fitcommerce.com/wellness