Monday, January 23, 2012

Skulls and Bones.

First – thank you to everyone who reads my BLOG. I can literally feel you ALL stretching through the words and thoughts; weaving your own memories and feelings; and bringing forth actions that I believe will literally change the World one day. For me this is the image of SPIDER MEDICINE.

CHANGING THE PLANET is something we can manage together through sharing our blogs and our testimonies. Thank you to all of you out there who refer my blogs to friends and family. Don’t be shy to invite me to read “your blogs”. I’m definitely BIG on getting to know my fellow men and women.

Now – here’s what happened to me last week!

I was taking the dogs out last week when I suddenly slipped and broke my left ankle in three different places. The doctors explained to me that my foot was literally holding on to my leg with the help of the skin only. I didn’t need them to tell me – it was pretty obvious. When I saw my foot uselessly hanging off the side of my leg I knew there was no way I was going to get out of this one without help…

Just the notion of "needing help" is a challenge and a lesson for me.

Friday I was home alone. I took the dogs out, fell and realized I had to get back into the house to be able to call someone. It never dawned on me to perhaps call 911 on my own... After screaming my head off for a few minutes (because REALLY - it hurts like hell to break your leg) I thought it would have been a better idea to have my cell phone in my coat pocket. I keep telling the kids they are addicted to their phones but at that moment, my “ass” in snow and my left leg totally useless, I bite my tongue a few times, swore and told my self “I learnt something today.”

Technology can be a God-Given-Gift. It's not like I haven't said this before but it seems that with every new experience there's a new perspective to this often superficial and indifferent comment.

I learnt that day that I’m pretty good in a crisis. Again it's not like it's a new insight; but one that seems to bring me deeper and deeper into my own personal wheel. I looked around the yard, noticed a shovel against the wall and as the dogs enjoyed a little stroll I tried to figure a way to get back in the house. I needed a phone. At first I tried to use the shovel as a crutch but my broken ankle didn’t agree with any kind of jumping movement. So I used my butt and two arms to pull myself up the steps and off the stairs. Once I reached the porch I used my knees and literally crawled into the house. I'll admit opening up the patio door was huge challenge but once I achieved it I was on a high.

It worked. Shit, and F***** were the words of choice all through this process. Who would have guessed that these words could be the most incredible motivators?

Actually, almost a decade ago when I met Harlyn Geronimo - Geronimo’s great-grand-son he talked about the “grounding effects of swear words.” I laughed at some of his choice comments but they did make sense. These days I find that in particular situations when you need “a grounding effect” some words do – do the trick. THAT DAY last week as I crawled my way back into the house I realized how important my anchors were on my personal Wheel. I grasped what it meant to be attached to the Earth and to need IT to survive. I also wondered about Mother Earth and her anchors was she telling me "humans were stripping her of her anchors on HER personal wheel?"

It might be strange to talk about Geronimo as a connection to this latest event of breaking my leg; but in truth it’s a synchronicity that can’t be ignored. I have been referring to the "great Medicine people of the last 500 years in my up and coming book." Geronimo was one of the elders I was exploring on the day of my accident. Did you know that Harlyn Geronimo and 20 other relatives brought a lawsuit against Yale’s Secret Society called SKULLS and BONES to reclaim the remains of their great-grand-father, Geronimo? According to some details written on the topic (2009) Geronimo's relatives believed that this Secret Society was using the bones and skull for rituals. My teachers have always told me "bones and skulls" hold our dreaming, our memories, and the details of our personal story. There are ceremonies where Medicine people who are preparing to die can choose who they want to share - their bones with (so to speak). It doesn't mean the bones will literally be given to these individuals although in the past this could have been possible. Today, the ceremony although seemingly symbolic does show the power within the bones of our ancestors. In my life I've receive a few times the "medicine within the bones of teachers around me." Even my dog LUCKY who passed away last year amazingly shared with us (her family) the medicine within her bones. I didn't think the ritual or ceremony would work with animals but it did and it a big way.

When the doctors worked on my foot, G who was with me almost fainted. He couldn’t believe the cracking sounds and how these people labored attentively over me to literally put my foot back together. Strangely enough all I remember of that specific moment is “the call I unconsciously sent out to a pack of wolves."

“We are giving you the drug; which was said to have killed Micheal Jackson,” said the nurse as if to say I was a celebrity too. She smiled at me and watched over me.

Surprisingly and totally unexpectedly the drug opened me up to a space where I saw at least 20 wolves come towards me. A big white wolf came close enough to my face for me to lucidly feel its breath over my nose and cheeks. I still remember the feeling as I'm writing it. The odor and warmth of the wolf's breath will definitely stay with me forever. Obviously, him and I have some kind of close connection. I wondered at first "why the pack was there?" I understood after a little while that in the dreaming I was caught in a trap. A Wolf myself and my pack was worried about me and whining their way behind me attempting to help me out.

Bella and Murfle, my two Beagles showed incredible concern when I fell down the stairs. They were all over me trying to understand why I was screaming so loud. Or maybe they simply understood through the energy that connects us that I was in trouble. One way or another they were a big part of the crisis that afternoon and I made sure to bring them in with me when I finally made it to the door. By the time I reached G and told him I had broken my leg Murfle and Bella lay near me – waiting. They seemed to be a mirrored image of the wolves in my dreaming space.

Geronimo, Micheal Jackson, the wolves --- an interesting trio of characters to say the least. What was I meant to understand from this experience?

First thing – make sure you clean up your steps on your porch if they are full of ice because you could slip and fall. (LOL) Obvious lessons always comes first.

Second, our bones connect us to the Earth and to the Dreaming. It’s important to consider them every now and again. Geronimo’s relatives made sure to state in their lawsuit that they weren’t OK with “rituals performed with ancestral, First Nation bones.” Obama was petitioned and it was requested that Geronimo’s bones be returned to sacred burial sites and traditional rituals be performed to honour these bones. It’s not the first time First Nation people petition the government to return their ancestors to the ground. Having been part of this procedure a few times in my life I can vouch that the bones of First Nation people especially should be handled with care.

Why do I say "especially?" Especially - because their belief system catered (and in traditional cases still do cater) to the idea that bones are medicine and gateways to the afterlife. So many of their old traditions honored death and bones in very particular ways. I don't have to tell you that, "when you intend and connect to an object or a bone with understanding of the "magic" within you'll most definitely will manifest phenomenal power (medicine)."

Remember Kennewick man? Same story and worth exploring or researching if you know nothing about it. I certainly gave a lot of attention to the idea of “ancestral bones” and the after life during this whole ordeal. I met interesting people in the hospital with amazing stories – all synchronically about loved ones and the messages they left after death.

One nurse said: “My mother never got the chance to visit my new home. She passed away too quickly but after her death we had a visit from a butterfly. It literally visited my home from room to room and finished landing on the chair right besides my father. I felt touched by my mother’s commitment and devotion to me and my dad.”

It was really quite beautiful to see how “my broken bones” brought forth a collection of stories relating to the beauty of death and the phenomenon of the after life. It's not surprising considering most of my vocational work or life long role caters to death. Nevertheless seeing it emerge and manifest in such a way was eye opening. I wondered for a moment how much more powerful and packed with memory (learning and healing) Geronimo’s bones must be? In that moment it seemed clear to protect MY bones and the bones of my ancestors. We owe each other some respect and some integrity in life and in death. It's wrong to believe that because someone has passed their remains are no longer important. If any of you know more about Geronimo’s story (the resolution and outcome) please make sure to post some comments. Thank you.

In the last week I lived at least 100 years in a few days. I understand the legendary stories of Medicine People who supposedly lived to be 400 or 600 years old. I grasp how easily that can happen when in a week I can pack up a century of memories, lessons, teachings – great learning. I’ll definitely be back with more stories connected to the last week. What I share with you today is a fraction of the details.

So my foot looks like Frankenstein’s face. Horrible. But it has never been more anchored. After a few hours of surgery I ended up with a plate and 6 screws bringing my foot back together. The dreams, the impressions, the synchronicities and phenomenon all week through showed me that I was indeed connected to Mother Earth and the Ancestors.

What next?

Well – it HURTS. LOL
Who would have guessed that it would take this much work to get a connection with the memories of my ancestors and give it form again. On the other hand, it makes so much sense it’s ridiculous. I can’t help but sigh and turn the page so I can start writing my next blog.

Skulls and Bones – have been important to our ancestors for a very long time. I put a skull in the center of my Medicine Wheel (I’ve used Wolf, Caribou, Elk, Lion, Bear or Deer). We give back our stories to the Earth as we die. Perhaps, we should give more attention to what that means. I know that my bones hold my story and that I don’t ever want to take my story for granted ever again….

I invite you all to anchor yourselves through your bones and to connect to the Earth and the Ancestors. Tell me how you make out. AND PLEASE you don’t have to break your limbs to follow in my foot steps --- I’ve done it for all of us.

It's important to look at the picture under the picture.
Bones may hide beneath the surface but in the end they live on way beyond us.
They are gateways -- our way to the afterlife.


Fishrarr said...

Thank you for sharing, quite a story, one never knows when one will get a wake up call. I really hope that you get well soon. Working with ancestors is important work,” When we succeed our ancestors succeed" was a quote from one of my teachers. That seems to be so true the last little while around here, as me and another family member are also received big wake up calls on the physical level.
Interesting story about Geronimo, he was a great man in his day and worked very hard in impossible conditions to help his people, one can do no better than that.
Again hope you are up and about soon. Tom.

Michelle said...

The picture threw me the scarf around her neck then your picture it is a match very cool. I remember thinking survival is a gift. How many of our ancestors did it so we could be here today.
I think in those moments of crisis we really do see what we are made of. It makes me wonder about our lesson's in life how sometimes we are jolted. I hope Frankenstein is good to you and heals up stronger than ever Lisa!

Lisa F. Tardiff said...

Tom and Michelle,

Thank you -- for reading always........
It looks like I'll be "ringing" when I go through airports from now on..... LOL

There's no doubt that as we empower our WHEELS we empower the Wheels of those before and beyond us. Lets not forget the Wheels around us as well....... It's like smoke bringing our prayers to Creator --- we can all spiral "upwards". This is how I view "empowerment."

I have more to say concerning this dream of the "skull and bones." I'll definitely be back with more blogs.

With this accident -- I'm going to be able to blog more, do more dream time charts, write the book, and keep the Medicine Wheel site on Facebook --- busy with discussions. You've all gained my full time attention for at least 2 months.

Love you all.

Rose said...

Oh Lisa... Well it does sound as if somehow you have managed to turn this into a very positive experience, full of learning and even humour! I had to laugh at the bit about swearing... I sometimes have painful massages and when I start holding my breath the lady who does just laughs at me and tells me off and tells me to swear.... No idea what people outside must think *laugh*

I am glad you looked after your pack and they looked after you...

I did look up Geronimo and found this which is a rather sad and annoying outcome.

Am rather happy that you will be writing more! I hope all heals quickly and fully and that you are not in too much pain any more. *hugs*

Jackie Gage said...

Actually I have gone through periods in my life when I swear more or less. Recently I was trying to accomplish a frustrating task, with my fingers, I was repressing a swear, getting more frustrated, finally I just SAID IT! I was amazed at the ease with which I finished, it just flowed after that, LMAO! The Swear Word helped me to center, and I just focused. I wound up laughing. Swearing is wired into many of us at a very primal level. A time and a place for these things seemingly. I always look around first,though, when in the grocery store, to make sure there are no little children around!

So glad to hear that you came through this experience with flying colours, Lisa! Good Health to you.
~ Jackie

Anonymous said...

Lisa. I fell down today on the ice which rarely happens. So, I am now thinking about the information you brought forth as well as teeth. I experienced a small shard of tooth/filling shed off today. Teeth. Hmm. Thank you for the share and sharing the experience. All medicine folks deserve premium chocolate after something like that.


Emily said...


Lisa when you were in the hospital I wondered to myself about what kind of dreams you were having!
I knew they were bound to be amazing.

I've been so nervous walking outside on the ice, and especially since your accident. When I walk Freddy, Im so careful not to fall because in some parts its really icy.
Im also waiting to get my phone, I see how its so important in the event of accidents happening while Im outside alone.

You sound so inspired and energized!
I look forward to reading more stories.


Lisa F. Tardiff said...


Teeth are equivalent to bones and skulls.
At the Winter Solstice we had some students come over to help us celebrate. One of our students has two children. Her son was struggling with a tooth. I told him that "if he gave me his tooth, I'd give him 20$." I knew the tooth fairy wasn't giving him as much. LOL

I've always been really good at pulling teeth. My kids were always amazed at my ability they even suggested my services to their friends. LOL

Finally, the young boy came close to me and said: "I'm ready." I grabbed a tissue and pulled his tooth out in no time. He got 20$ and I got a really nice tooth. Now he has another tooth that is loose and asked his mother if he could come to visit me.... LOL I think he believes he can get rich with me.

Teaching kids about teeth, bones and skulls is in my opinion -- important. I was glad to have kids over during the holidays who were right in the process of loosing teeth. I'm pretty sure they'll grow up with the strong memory of the "strange lady who uses their teeth to dream." LOL

It's experiences like this that make a childhood full and an adulthood interesting.....


Anonymous said...

Lisa, your experiences that you share with us, and how you face them are such amazing lessons for me! And yes, I do understand that a good, well-placed swear word can sometimes break open the logjam that seems to hamper or impair my moving forward. I remember when I was in boarding school, in my 8th grade year, I had a housemother who called me her "swearing pup!" It was a tough year for me, as I had been pulled out of my neighborhood school just after Christmas and was sent to boarding school. I remember how frustrating that year was, and that I swore a LOT - lol But every time my housemother would call me her "swearing pup", she had a big grin on her face. I'll bet she knew just how helpful those words could be, at times.
I hope that you have as little pain and as smooth a convalescence as possible!

Christy said...

I watched a show once where they did a study with swearing and withstanding pain. They did an experiment where people held their hand in ice cold water, and see how long they could stand it. The first group could say nothing, the second group could say only random, non-swear words like "chair" and the last group could swear all they the end the swearers could withstand the pain almost twice as long!

Speaking of grounding, I was just talking about falling on the ice with a tai chi friend a few days ago. I haven't fallen since I started tai chi! I was reminded by your story of one phrase that is always used in teaching standing with grounded feet. "The feet are our roots, sinking deeper as they are looking for the bubbling spring"

Digging in with my roots and lowing with the spring has become a really valuble reflex.

Wheelkeeper said...

Lisa, I always am so careful when on slippery ground because I know that my bones are fragile, not having much meat on them for cushioning falls. I can`t imagine what you went through, but I feel your power and strength and courage through all of this and am amazed and inspired by YOU!

The way you get so much out of a terrible accident and see it from so many perspectives is inspiring. I know there are many more stories and dreams to come out of this experience and I treasure your insights and wisdom that you share.

Love you!

Lisa F. Tardiff said...

Mary Rose,

Your words are "heart warming."
I'm glad to have a friend like you.


Lili said...

Lisa, I am so glad you are okay. I have been so concerned about you and now I know why.
Regarding teeth, I hold my childrens teeth next to my bed. I never really know why I do it but I recall your words about teeth and wisdom and it seemed like to get rid of their teeth was to get rid of their wisdom.

You are so inspiring Lisa. I know you shall have lots of people around you helping out and being with you and I would love to be one of them. All I can say is, for now, I am sending you lots of love.

Lisa F. Tardiff said...

Thank you Leanne.