Main Information

Page 39

(Main Links of the site are right at the bottom of the page)

The 37 pages in this Main Information section are below.

Classic vs Core Shamanism
Ethics of Spellcasting
Ethics of the Native Sacred Point of View
Following Others Discussion
Galactic Gateways
Harvesting the Fruits of Aging Discussion
Ley Lines & Vortexes
Mazes, Labyrinths & Spiral Discussion
Mother Earth
Praying Peace Discussion
Seeing through Soft Eyes
Soul Retrieval Discussion
Soul vs Spirit Discussion
Spirit Names & Their Medicine

War Bonnet Discussion
By Cinnamon Moon

As many of you know, Jamie Sams is one of my favorite authors. I'd like to quote something from her Sacred Path book on the Warbonnet since we are all spiritual warriors in our own right. Here's what she has to say:

Advance The Teaching:

The Warbonnet was the symbol of a Chief, a Warrior whose counsel was sought because his wisdom was recognized by others; he had come to terms with his Personal Medicine. He had earned the right to wear the Warbonnet because he knew how to advance himself through the acts of bravery, advance his Clan through Counting Coup, and advance his Tribe or Nation through providing for all its members. The Warbonneted Chiefs of Native America won the Coup Feathers in their bonnets through serving the needs of the People.

The feathers of the Warbonnet are not acquired from killing Eagles. Young Braves set traps with live Rabbits. The rock crevice below the nest where the Rabbit was tied had one or two young Braves silently waiting. When Eagle came for its dinner, the Braves would have to be very quick in snatching a tail feather or wing feather. If they were not so quick, the Eagle could maul their hands with razor sharp talons or beak. This way of getting an Eagle Feather was one of a young man's tests of courage on the pathway to becoming a Warrior and was one from of advancing his position in the Tribe.

Full Eagle wings, tails, or skulls were gifts from the Eagle Nation. When the Eagles were ready to "drop their robes" (die), they would call to a Warrior or Medicine Person in a dream or vision to let the Two-leggeds know where they would leave their bodies. In this way, a Medicine Person or Chief would have extra feathers to bestow on those who had earned the right to wear them.

The Eagle wing is divided into several categories of feathers. The spike-tip of the wing is considered the Destiny Feather. Through reading the markings on the Destiny Feather, a Medicine Person could tell what the Warriors future would hold. The Destiny Feather could tell if the Warrior's life would be full of joy or sorrow, whether this Earth Walk would be a long one, or if the seeker was soon to join the Ancestors by Dropping the Robe. If the Destiny Feather had a broken quill, death was to be sudden and in youth. If the Destiny Feather had any markings, as with the Spotted Eagle Feather, the faces or shapes that appeared told the story of that person's future life events or their Allied Totems.

The small feathers on the cutting edge of the wing were called Hopes and Dreams Feathers. These feathers marked the path of the desired destiny of the owner. Often a pattern or set of events could be seen in the way the feathers grew from the skin. A trained Seer could divine the meanings for the wing's owner and accurately foretell the events and challenges that life would provide. The personal goals of the wing's owner were also shown in the markings of the feathers. If those goals were inclusive of the advancement of the Tribe or Nation, the selflessness of the seeker was sure to be blessed by the Grandfathers and Grandmothers in spirit. The selfish person's wing might show many challenges or trials that would, if approached in a humble manner, aid in changing the person's character for the better.

The four feathers in back of the spike-tip are Healing Feathers given to the Medicine People of the Tribe. These Healing Feathers were used to clean the Sacred Space around the body of a sick person. Since the Eagle feather is used to gather negative energy or bad Medicine with quick, firm strokes near the sick person's body, the spirit of the Eagle can be felt by the patient. Eagle represents spiritual illumination and if the illness was psychological, a person might feel a great deal better just by being feathered. The trained Medicine Person can see the energy needing to be removed and can use the Healing Spike Feather to remove the bad energy from the body.

The round-tipped feathers on the underside of the wing nearest the Eagle's body are Warrior Feathers as were the tail feathers. These Warrior Feathers were added to the Warbonnet. The Warrior Feathers are still used in a sacred manner and are passed down through families who carry the blood-line of the Chiefs in each Tribe. As Medicine People train the future generation to take their place, many Warrior Feathers as well as Healing Feathers are passed to those who honor the teachings and take responsibility for the roles they will inherit. These feathers are a part of the trust given to the future generation that embodies the advance of the Tribe or Nation. The passing of this Medicine is a reminder that the Tradition and Teachings will be preserved so that our way of life will be protected.

The Plume Feathers are from the Eagle's breast. One plume is tied into the scalplock of those who return from Vision Quest or complete the Rites of Passage. These special plumes are also used as ornamentation and protection on the Cradleboards of babies. They may represent the Eagle Medicine that may be carried in a Medicine Bundle. Since the plumes are much smaller than a full feather, for the sake of convenience, they could be placed in the Bundle that would be taken to the Sun Dance or on Vision Quest. The purpose of placing these plumes in the Medicine Bundle is to call upon guidance from Eagle's Medicine during these rituals.

If a Warrior Feather had a Coup mark on it, it was a sign that the feather had been taken from another in battle. This was to note the change of ownership and that the spirit of the feather now owed allegiance to the Warrior that counted Coup on another brave. About five or six rows of the feather hairs are cut from the quill by the new owner and some feathers have several cuts denoting how many times the feather has changed hands.

If the quill of any feather is broken, the spirit of that feather has been released and is in the Without Fires Camp, also called the Other Side Camp. The world of spirit on the Blue Road is the place where all spirits live. Spirits are part of the Air Chief's Clan and ride on the wind. As each spirit desires to send a message to those on the Good Red Road of physical life, he or she will come on the Wind and take the form of a Cloud Person so that Two-leggeds can read the spirit Smoke Signals. Warriors learned to read signs so that their Medicine would be strong and victory would be assured. It was through the signs of the Medicine Allies that the Warrior Clan knew when to wait and when to advance.

Every Chief who had acquired enough feathers for a Warbonnet had demonstrated certain qualities as a role model for the People, male and female alike. Warbonneted Chiefs were the strength of the People. They listened to the hearts of those they protected and never spoke in anger. Each Eagle feather represented a lesson learned in patience, bravery, Tribal etiquette, hunting, Medicine, leadership, Ceremony, Counting Coup, and the Father-protector role. The lessons gained by these Chiefs included spiritual illumination tempered by courage and the quick action necessary for proper leadership.

The Warbonneted Chief showed leadership in times of battle, but he also exemplified the spiritual lessons that each feather in his Warbonnet represented. The message was loud and clear: each Warbonneted Chief was the holder of powerful gifts and abilities. Each Chief used the gifts Great Mystery had given him for the advancement of his people and by so doing was worthy of his position of leadership. If the Warbonnet has appeared in your cards today, it is time to advance. Don't waste energy on going backward or staying in the doldrums. You are now able to move to the next step on the Sacred Path. Like a Warbonneted Chief, you have earned the right to learn the next set of life's mysteries. Take your Medicine Bundle and all the strengths it represents and charge forward.

The advance can be on any level. Your spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional healings are understood through life's experiences. You can now approach your destiny with every feather you have earned marking your past victories and see the destiny you have chosen emerging before you. Your Medicine is strong and will allow the advancement you need at this time.

*Note: while the teachings here reflect Jamie's Sacred Path Cards (similar to the Tarot in the arena of divination), these teachings can also reflect the appearance of a Warbonnet presented to you in other ways: in visions, dreams, and journeys. I hope this lends some insight into the honoring of feathers in general and into the Medicine of Eagle itself...as well as the effort put forth to earn one's own Medicine.

Cinnamon, Thank you for sharing the symbolism found in these different symbols. While clothing may express our individual style I can't think of anything in contempory dress that brings spirituality into dress in the mannerism of the Native Americans. I for one find the symbolism of the feather very special.

Yes, feathers are sacred for many different reasons. These examples show how they hold major significance and say a great deal about the person. Seeing this way is a way of life, it addresses things openly and honestly. Pride and honor are part of that way of life and worn symbolically. So is honoring all else in life. In this way the philosophy behind Native ways lives and breathes with them in everything they do. This is their tradition. Here, oneness, spirituality and the physical world are seen as One, not two separate issues. They live between the worlds walking back and forth constantly all day long. That harmony and balance is the lifestyle. It's all the same to them and therefore everything in nature is sacred, teaches, heals, has significance in some fashion and deserves respect. Seeing this it all starts to come together. This is their poetry...the poetry of life...of a spiritual path.

Why does the title say Warbonnet: advance? As for feather I don’t really use them although I know they are very significant. It my be a prejudice but finding a pigeon feather on the corner of the street isn't all that appealing. Not to say that pigeon medicine doesn't have worth though. the only two medicine items that I believe I have are a whole bat, which I store away since I still don’t know how to use it. Although I know that if it came to me it must hold a meaning. But transformation aren’t my forte, hence maybe the bat since it's something I need to work on.

The other thing is a falcon wing feather which I am very proud to earn. that too I haven’t decipher what it means yet and how I can use it. But as silly as it seems that is something I feel I can incorporate into my workings. If I had an eagle feather I'm not sure I would know what to do with it. I think I'm closer to falcon then eagle even if eagle as came to me before and falcon as not. I can get a glimpse of what you brought here Cinn. Just holding the feather in my hand it feels special and it's one of the most beautiful things I ever say even if it's not in perfect condition as it came from a road kill and then was passed on to me by Shimmer. It's a special items. It's funny about those things. When you show it to someone that you care about ( because you don’t flaunt it around) it's very rare that they pick up on the beauty and the underlying strength that lies within the item.

I'm digressing here but to get back to the point the only use I found for it yet is to smudge. And as you know Cinn I have my own connection with falcon as we have disagreed (not really but...) upon its meaning, as I have my own special meaning for that bird that came to me. And like I said before I'm sure that I have seen that meaning somewhere in a book but when I look I can’t find it so I'll say it's my special relationship with that bird. Falcons do grab my heart more than Eagles even if they aren’t as majestic.

Northern, I believe the title "Warbonnet advance" equates to the feathers of the warbonnet representing achievements (spiritual, mental, physical) that have been accomplished by the recipient of the feathers. In some way like trophies but with a spiritual significance as opposed to a purely mundane one. Personally, I am not into possessions at least at this point. I actually found a wing of a bird (prey bird type unknown) under the snow as it melted a few weeks ago, said a pray to set its spirit free and returned its physical remains back to the earth. I would never have even thought about collecting the feathers, feeling that all remains need to go back to the earth so that new life will begin. However, the symbolism of feathers is important since I see them in dreams and don't know their meaning. I have never been drawn to tools however I must say that when I went to a Pow wow a couple of weeks ago, there was one group of individuals from Canada (non- natives) that had rattles, furs, drums, and baskets for sale. There was a drum that was beautiful (completely plain) that drew my attention but there was something about the group that made me uncomfortable (probably

just on my part) and I didn't pursue any discussion about it. I do find the Native American walk combining the spiritual and physical beautiful and believe this is where I am probably headed in terms of Spirituality. I don't mean by this statement "trying to become what I am not"; but using their practices a as representative example or tool to find / assimilate my own way of walking on / with the earth.

Greetings! Advance is the key word for Warbonnet. Earthwalker’s explanation is in depth and very insightful . I also wasn’t a bird person, but with as many feathers that have come to me I am now. It might be if you've found a feather or wing you are to pass it on. I was just gifted with the most beautiful Red Tail Hawk feather. The lady just didn't feel it was for her. In fact she almost ran it over with a lawn mower They just keep coming I was once told "Don't you honor all gifts I lay before you?" When I went back to honor the road kill it turned out to be an Eagle. I had thought it was a skunk .

Here is how I take care of feathers. First I pray for the spirit of the bird, that the remains be used for the highest good of everyone. This is a physical reminder of that birds medicine. If the wings are spread this is a gift for me. If the wings are tucked in tight I say the blessing and leave it for the wild animals to take. I was told once to give the birds back to the air. I didn't figure out how to do that so I cremate the ones too far gone to be of any use. (one red-tailed hawk was drowned) I give them a light spray of 'raid' to kill any tiny bugs. I don't wash the feathers, some have the blood of the bird, which is a medicine in itself. I use vitamin E and baby oil on my hands. After it's soaked in a bit I 'prune' the feathers, fixing any splits or separations. This gives me time to feel what should be done with it. Some I've decorated, some are made into fans, some into hair decorations. Yes, they are tools. Some people need a physical helper, some don't. Sometimes when I didn't think I need the physical tool, it isn't for me, it's for the person I am working with.

Warbonnet: Advance That came from the Sacred Path Cards book she wrote and was a direct quote. In essence she was saying that to draw that card meant you had earned the right to "advance" in life or on your path or in your Medicine in some fashion. Like Tarra said, not everyone works with tools but the feather is a special gift. We can use them to connect to the spirit of that creature and then work with it in journeys or for specific purposes. Falcon can have a special meaning for you, and out of that a special relationship will develop. There are universal meanings for each creature-teacher, my friend, but as in any symbolic message, whatever it means to you takes priority over a universal interpretation. So you keep to what feels right for you and if there's more to learn about it the spirit of the Falcon will teach you what you need to know. It could well be that the kinship between you gives you an insight into Falcon that others may not need but you do. There is always more to things and that makes learning fun while it adds to your knowledge base. We learn what we need to know...and then some.

“Some I've decorated, some are made into fans, some into hair decorations.”

And quite creatively too I might add! (Thank you again!!!) My dear friend gifted me with a barrette and four feathers that hung from it by clips that allowed them to be removed and hung on other tools. One of which I have used to "see into the darkness" and discover hidden insights. Powerful! I've used another to help me with my recalling material I had to memorize when it was extensive and critical to a presentation I was giving. And the list of uses could go on and on. It's very versatile and the barrette looks beautiful when worn, usually stirring a conversation as to how I came by it. Then I get to tell a story about Tarra! LOL

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

Cinnamon Moon
© Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.) 2000-date
All rights reserved.

Site constructed by Dragonfly Dezignz 1998-date

River Moon