Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"They" Already Knew? Going Along to Get Along/ Sacred Geography/ Sacred Remains

"They" Already Knew? Going Along to Get Along/ Sacred Geography/ Sacred Remains

I stopped by the Holliston MA. town hall today.  I got more info about the Hopping Brook Development site (DEP File # concerning the wetlands, etc.) which I have already passed along.  I kept myself together while visiting the town hall place, but man oh man, does that place ever stink to high hell.  When I first walked into that place, inquiring about the Hopping Brook site an over-weight wanna-be authority-type figure, red in the face obviously due to high cholesterol and sloth-like tendencies, invaded my space and snapped at me about how all permits were already obtained, legally, and that is the end of the story and that development is going on as planned.  I smirked and countered this by saying, quite adamantly as the situation called for, that since the developers needed to obtain a federal permit for Storm-water Management due to the Wetlands, somewhere along the line somebody broke protocol and federal guidelines by not contacting a representative of one of the several federally-recognized tribal nations in the area, concerning development in ancestral territories of Native people. 

With that said, I would add for this blog that the site that is to be developed is a unique and important part of the local Ceremonial Stone Landscape, including what may very likely be (and if you are educated about such archaeology than you don't even have to suppose, you will have a good sense of pretty much 'knowing') large stone burial mounds as well as other features such as smaller rock groupings, some ceremonial items such as standing stones, serpent walls and rows of enclosures, sacred boulders, etc.  Also, one can see the high point of the Milford Hills, Magomiscook, from the Hopping Brook site, and vice-versa.  We still know today, for example, such as through the modern council of the Pokonoket band of Wampanoag, as they point out, about sacred hills and mountains important to their culture since time immemorial.  Popular examples would be Mt. Hope in Rhode Island (basically a large hill but big enough to be classified as a "mountain"), being able to view Mt. Wachusett in central MA. from the peak/ side of Mt. Hope and being able to see Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire from Mt. Wachusett in central MA.  These are all sacred mountains known by local Native people.

(mt. wachusett) 

Just as I have noticed that at the vantage points of Mt. Nobscot (another "large hill") in Framingham/ Sudbury MA. (west of Boston) one can see the Blue Hills nearby to Boston, as well as Mt. Wachusett in the other direction, I have noticed that the high points of the Milford Hills (Magomiscook) afford an even more spectacular view-shed.  The Blue Hills can be seen from here, as well as points that may be in Rhode Island, and in the direction of Uxbridge and Mendon MA.  One can also see points in Hopkinton and Westboro, going towards the direction of Central MA. and I speculate that if the tree lines were clear one could see Mt. Wachusett from the Milford Hills.  (One early Milford town historian mentioned that Wachusett was visible from the Milford hills in his day- written in the early nineteenth century.)  What I am getting at here, is that there is a whole entire "lost" network of sacred hillsides in the region, but here I am focusing on the Milford/ Holliston area, and that the local Ceremonial Stone Landscape is also a part of this story.  It is also no coincidence that the area is the headwaters of the Charles River watershed.  The fact that the Hopping Brook site is a part of this sacred landscape is significant- it is the first large hill to be seen in the distance from the Milford Hills, and the Milford Hills can be seen from Hopping Brook.

But back to the Hopping Brook site in particular: for the past several years, and perhaps even before then, this site has been on the inventory of sites for the region's Ceremonial Stone Landscapes.  The developers needed to renew their federal permit for developing around wetlands within a year of the start of development.  It is around this time that representatives from the tribal nations should have been contacted.  This never happened.  What is worse, is that the clerk who did end up helping me (who was nicer than the other guy) told me that some people on the Holliston Conservation Commission and Planning Board already know about Sacred Native American Rock Piles in the local area and about some of their significance.  Really? REALLY?  Than how on earth can these same people sit in the town meetings and planning board meetings, meetings relevant to the Hopping Brook development and do nothing?  I know why- because "one hand washes the other hand."  At the end of the day, these people all look out for each other and for the best interests of "business" in the town.  It seems to me that people in the know about these stone sites, did not bring up the fact these structures were all over the place around the Hopping Brook site, because they are going along to get along.  "Team players."  Being a team player is good sometimes, but not when you are on the wrong team.  So in other words, the "good" and "charitable" people of the Holliston Planning Board and Conservation Commission are racists... they knew these structures were there, in the way of development, and they did nothing.

This act of development is an outrage.  Not only may there be burial structures on this site (there are certainly structures of Native origin on site), the developers would also take an eraser to the sacred hillside and put up a warehouse or other industrial building; this is a sacrilege.  Again; these modern people aren't thinking straight- these buildings and parking lots may only be used for several generations, while the true heritage of that landscape, which has endured and been celebrated for thousands of years, will be lost forever.

Depending on one's own definition of who is and who isn't a Native person, I may or may not "qualify".  If a Native person is an enrolled tribal member, who can prove an unbroken line to their respective communities, than in those terms I am not a Native person.  If one defines a Native person as someone with any Native heritage at all, than yes, I am a Native person.  I saw a quote the other day (concerning Taino people) that said, "inside every mestizo (person of European/American Indian descent) is either a dead Indian or an Indian waiting to be re-born."  In my case, I have always felt I have been waiting to be re-born, to embrace my Native roots.  The word mestizo, in Spanish, usually refers to someone who is "half and half" but I would revise that to include anybody with any Native heritage.

The same people who would approve this development and profit from it do not even relate to this very land in any way, shape, or form.  Furthermore, some of these same people have even probably been convinced that Life has no Spirit.  So of course they are going to destroy the landscape- they are motivated by nothing more than a material profit, which is not 'the Way' ("the Way" is the law of natural order and life, from the source of creation defined in many old theologies such as Taoism, early Gnosticism, etc., which in turn grew out of different world Native traditions.)  The business model of driving up profits is unsustainable and can basically be summed up by this video clip of Oren Lyons (of the Onondaga Nation) where he talks about the business model and the consumption of resource ("none of you are pulling your horse" he says, also "you need a moral question in your governing process"):

I also found the following Oren Lyons talk to be very relevant to the topic of this blog post.  "We Are Part of the Earth":

                  The kind of mindless development that is currently under-way at the Hopping Brook site in Holliston, MA. is just the latest example in a long line of trends of developments that needs to be re-thought and re-considered if we do not want to reach that "point of no return" that we are "heading to." (see the first Oren Lyons link.)  That is all I can think to say about this for now.  Not only this, but we (all people) lose our relationship with the land, many people have given this up already and have freely done so, and maybe some never "had it" in the first place... more people need to return to the good way of living. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Video About "the Mound Builders"

Video About "the Mound Builders"

I liked the presentation on this video.  Focusing on the mound-building tradition most commonly associated in the Mid-West, Mississippi delta, Ohio Valley, etc.  The speaker was in PA. in front of what used to be an American Indian mound, now a museum.  The mound building culture was here in New England, too.  The fact that it is still swept under the rug, or that archaeologists haven't reached a consensus about this issue yet tells me that there must be an agenda going on as to not acknowledge these structures here in New England for what they are.  Perhaps they are too much "in the way."  The early Puritans, who gave us the Salem Witch Trials certainly wouldn't have wanted to acknowledge such stone structures and that taboo is still in place today.  Colonists who moved out west found many Native American mounds, and publicized their findings, but in the 19th century they had much more liberty and freedom to do so than in New England.  So the question is, when is enough going to be enough?  When will New England be honest about this?  When will these structures finally be acknowledged for what they are- sacred American Indian monuments mostly for ceremonial purposes.  Hopefully it won't be too long before the right representatives, officials and academics do the right thing- and before it is too late. 

A description of the YouTube video:
"The real history of the Native American inhabitants of this land remains in obscurity for most people. This is because most of the historians who recorded history in the past recorded it from a very biased view point which created a distorted view of the indigenous Americans..."
The video, a short 5 minute clip (we are focusing on the mounds here):

Now with those images and descriptions of the Earth Mounds still fresh in your mind, compare them to this New England counter-part, a stone mound in Holliston, MA. that is in the middle of what is now currently a construction zone in threat of being destroyed as another mound nearby was:

If the legal system we live under was actually good and just, developers would have to be forced to take special courses to learn how to identify and work around these structures as to not disturb them.  But this seems like a "la-la land" pipe dream that is too much to ask.  Instead, there is no responsibility taken into account in regards to these structures.  I would even go so far as to say that these developers, and town/city planners, etc. are making a grave mistake by ignoring the significance of these structures, even in regards to the evolution of their spirit, their karma, or what have you.

Last I will show a clip from the Hidden landscapes series that I have shown before but I will show it again here because it helps put things in even better perspective as to what we are looking into here (less than 2 minutes):

Friday, July 15, 2016

Snapping Out Of La-la Land

Snapping Out Of La-la Land

If you follow this blog closely you will realize that around the beginning of 2016, around January, my camera stopped working.  My cell phone camera is no longer uploading pics to my e-mail for some reason.  Also, the digital camera I have, although "new", as in, never been used, has a full memory and will not allow me to take pics.  I cannot figure that technology out.  So no new pictures of sites= storytelling time for this blog.  Some stories were about insights concerning geographical events taking place ages ago and how they might relate to rock pile or other sacred site locations.  Other stories may have been about dream-time experiences flirting on 'paranormal'.  Of course I was able to relate some of that to stone-works as well, in a way.  These stories should be taken as individual insights or experiences that I, the writer of this blog had, and most definitely not a cultural interpretation (although some of the geographical insights are valuable in this regard, such as Charles River headwaters, high hills, etc).  I would like to make that clear.  Perhaps I should start another blog with a different focus of interest to tell these particular stories concerning my own "inner world" experiences while at the same time leaving this separate blog concerning Ceremonial Stone Landscapes up.  If I do make a new blog sometime in the future I will announce it here.

Also, I do not watch or listen to much TV or mainstream radio, or watch movies, etc.  If I want "entertainment" I would much rather gain some actual real knowledge and wisdom from such an experience instead of wasting my time on useless pop culture nonsense, Hollywood drivel, or noisy music that pollutes the human spirit.  Instead I would be interested to hear what someone like Santos Bonacci has to say about the philosophy of Astrology, or be entertained by a 'Red Elk' interview, although I know that not everything that man claimed was true, but when he is on fire, he is on fire... and that is my version of "watching a movie" while appealing to my sense of the possible.  Better in my opinion, than a grown-ass man playing video games (which many do) or watching a sitcom TV show that has nothing to do about nothing.

With all of that said and out of the way, there is currently a very real issue currently at stake.  The destruction and desecration of a stone mound/ cairn site.  The developers of the Hopping Brook Industrial Park in Holliston, MA. are making an expansion to the park.  In doing so they have crossed wetlands and are destroying Native American stone mound burials, stone pile effigies and other sacred stones.  Peter Waksman of the Rock Piles Blog first noticed the survey markers.  I did my best to monitor the situation at first, but I blinked for a second and all of a sudden all of the trees on the site have been clear-cut and they are moving boulders and rocks around, and disturbing some of the structures, and that is just SO FAR.  I called up the local newspaper, which has a wide local distribution through many towns, and met a reporter and photographer at the scene of the crime to show them what was happening.  The story made the Wednesday July 13th edition of the MetroWest Daily News, beginning on the front page of the paper and continuing on page A5.

Here are a couple of pictures from the article:

There is a lot more information about this issue on Peter Waksman's Rock Piles blog (July 2016.)  Tim MacSweeney of the Waking Up On Turtle Island Blog has also been posting about this very real issue.  Representatives of some of the federally recognized tribes in the area have been notified about this desecration.  This issue has now been exposed.  What will come of it, we will have to find out.  There must come a time when development practices in the United States must cease the ethnic cleansing of Native culture.  This is a very real issue.

It would be nice to live in a world where balance and harmony can be met on a daily basis, where vision and dream-time can be expressed as they once were.  These things are in a good way, but in today's world we also must be prepared to be on guard and to take action.  It is 'sociopathic' behavior to desecrate and destroy the landscape, as it was interacted upon for thousands of years, to pave the way for parking lot and industrial warehouse buildings that may only be in use for 100 years or so, maybe 150 years.  Meanwhile, what should be a cultural treasure is destroyed that is not yet fully understood or researched; stone monuments, temple-like platform cairns, standing stones, etc. that should be preserved for the sake of preservation (including ceremony.)   

Updates on this issue will be given.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mass. Wild Swamp Cactus AKA "Thistles". How to Prepare + Info On Healing Properties

Mass. Wild Swamp Cactus AKA "Thistles".  How to Prepare + Info On Healing Properties

The other day I found myself in one of my other favorite places to be other than rock ledges of bedrock granite high in the hills (which provide an abundant resource of stone.)  I found myself in true swamp land.  Swamp land where there were no trails, knee deep and waist deep in swamp water.  I stayed out of the water the best I could, using fallen trees and tree limbs to navigate my way through the swamp- clutching, jumping, balancing, zig-zagging, maneuvering and stretching my body to stay dry- I only slipped a couple times after night had fallen... it took me a couple hours to navigate through that swamp.  It is a fun exercise to do sometimes because it is a little challenging if you want to stay dry and you must use your brain power to analyze the best tactical maneuvers.  And just like a maze sometimes you have to slowly zig-zag your way across (finding downed tree limbs and assuming one wants to stay dry) in order to move forwards.  It is a good analytical brain exercise as well as a good physical work out and also a good practice in learning patience to reach a goal.

On the side of the swamp (which itself is a bit of a challenge for most people to get to), where there are the remains of some trails I noticed that one of the New England region's wild cactus plants was growing (for some reason people, if they even know of it call it a weed and think that cacti or similar plants only grow in the southwest region?- that logic is the veil lifted over people's eyes).  What I am referring to is a 6 foot tall prickly, thorny thistle-bush.  These sacred plants have many healing properties.  My subtle energy body was buzzing off the charts just being around this wild plant.  Okay, so I guess that was my adventure.  Most people don't realize the abundance of wild healing plants around their area.  Take Massachusetts alone.  Without looking anything up I will list as much as I can off the top of my head: Burdock, Thistle, Blackberry (in abundance), Blueberry (in abundance), dandelion (in abundance), skunk cabbage (in abundance), cat-tail (in abundance), sassafras (in abundance).  This is only to name a few.

The following YouTube video is a presentation about how to prepare Wild Thistle as well as a 101 on it's health benefits.  Thank you to the presenter for doing her great work.  About 10 minutes long:

We should always keep in mind that looking at stone sites was just one aspect of the Native culture, an aspect which I believe had it's glory day many thousands of years ago- in later woodland cultures perhaps, and this really is just a supposition, only a select group of people had the full knowledge of how to read, interact and interpret some of these sites (stone wall complexes running up ledges, areas within it of propped boulders and large split boulders- obviously observatory sites in some cases, which provided within it places to make the necessary observations- places where Earth, Sky and Water meet, etc.)  Cairn and rock pile sites were probably more personal, and specific families and clans probably had preferred specific areas of their own where they would go erect these monuments and to observe ritual, remembering to give thanks to the spirits (a rock-on rock offering stone for instance next to a larger effigy cairn which in turn is next to a larger stone mound.)  But beyond the ceremonial stone complexes are elements of Native life more familiar to academics and the public at large- such as habitation sites (which featured extensive spiral trail systems from one place to the next, which has actually been proven beneficial to human DNA), foraging sites, production sites (soapstone quarries for the manufacture of products such as bowls, tools, etc.), and subsistence sites.

What I am trying to say is, although this blog has focused on the less known and understood stone sites, every aspect of nature, and what is to be found on the land itself is a gifted experience given to us directly from the Creator.  Wetland, Swampland, plant and animal life are just as fantastic as places that are abundant in stone and therefore stone-works as well.  I do not want to sound like I am too carried away by the stones- although they are indigenous, therefore enhancing the power of the natural landscape instead of working against it which is what modern people do.

And I did find the Massachusetts cacti-type thistle plants to be most glorious.         

Friday, July 1, 2016

Video- "How To Build An Igloo" (Inuit) + Thoughts On N.E. Stone Structures= "Related"

Video- "How To Build An Igloo" (Inuit) + Thoughts On N.E. Stone Structures= "Related"

The Ice and Snow constructions, or igloos of Native people far north in the Arctic follows the same "modus operandi" of particular stone constructions in the more temperate Northeast region of the US/ Canada.  In place of stone the resource they use is ice in this case, which is a less permanent material than stone.  For instance, just as many people compare the Ohio and Mississippi Earthworks, spirals and mounds to the Stone constructions in the Northeast we can also compare stone constructions to the ice constructions of the Arctic.  The following 10 minute video shows the building methods of a 'beehive' igloo and the shaping of the ice blocks that goes into it:

"How to Build An Igloo" -

Similar building style to at least some of the stone structures of the Northeast (while other stone structures have their counterparts still in the Arctic inuksuk and other such rock piles.) 

However some questions need to be raised- did Arctic people have a prior knowledge to stone building when stone was a more abundant resource in that region, or did the shaping and fitting of ice blocks develop independently?  For example, the fitting and shaping of ice blocks is very similar to the shaping and fitting of stones- many of the more elaborate stone structures in the Northeast have shaped and fitted stones similar to the ice blocks shown in the above video.

And also, going back to the book "Manitou" by Mavor and Dix; on page 17 they talk about an excavation they did of a stone site in Vermont and found that the tradition of building stone piles directly on top of the bedrock and that the modification by human hands of the bedrock itself happened at least directly after the recession of the last glacial ice (10,000-12,000 yrs. ago) or that it was perhaps from an even earlier period of an interglacial period BEFORE the last glaciation (before the ice age).  This was determined from soil-core samples they had geologists test.
An interesting point to make here is that there wouldn't have been trees around to use as a resource 11,000 (or so) years ago directly after the last ice age- the resource to use would have been stone.  So at least some of the stone chambers, mounds and stone walls of the Northeast region can be dated to this time frame (and excavations of the Red Paint People stone constructions goes back at least 9,000 years- such as the Stone burial mound in Labrador that featured a collapsed Chamber.)  Stone, wood, earth or ice, some of the building methods and the logic behind it are the same.  It just depends on what resource is available.