Manataka American Indian Council
Reflections of the Manataka
in Australia Spiritual Gathering
September 26 – 28, 2009
by Lynn Dream Dancer Guy
E-lo-hi-no do-hi-yi ge-se-s-ti [peace on earth] beautiful folk who make up my/our sacred Manataka family all across Mother Earth .. it’s now a month since we had our first ever Manataka Gathering in Australia and I’m not sure where to begin to share with you about the wealth of our experiences and how this event unfolded.
I would like to thank the Creator and Rainbow Woman for blessing us and allowing us to hold this Gathering and for watching over us and guiding us along the Visioning how it may look and unfold.
I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Grandfather Lee Standing Bear Moore and all the Elders of Manataka for their permission and support for us to hold this event – the first time that a Manataka event has been held outside Turtle Island .. it was an honour, a joy and one huge learning/growing experience. I would also like to thank Amanda Morning Star Moore who accompanied her father, Standing Bear, to Australia to lead and assist us with our first Gathering. She is truly one of the most delightful and heart-centered folk I have ever met and worked with…. Like her father she gave of herself tirelessly to our Aussie Manataka family. And I must not forget to thank Becky Flaming Owl Moore who graciously allowed us to hug her family close to our hearts whilst she kept things going back home in Hot Springs! To all in the Manataka Women’s Drumming Circle who joined us along the energy lines in prayer song and drum over the Gathering .. we felt you, we heard you and we thank you too for your light and your love as we grew through our individual and collective experiences.
Perhaps my story should start at the beginning so let us try that .. since I was a little child rainbows have delighted and captivated me. They have uplifted my spirits and taught me how to be in my heart, how to see through the eyes of a child even in to my mid 50’s where I sit now on the sacred wheel of life.
About 10 years ago I had a job which was good in that it paid the bills, kept a roof over my son’s and my heads and introduced me to the delights of connecting to others via the internet. At a particularly ‘down’ time in my life this connection to the ‘net’ found me searching out legends and info about the Rainbow Tribes and the Rainbow Warriors .. a heart / spirit calling I’ve been following all my life .. somewhere in my searches I discovered Manataka and more about the Rainbow Woman ~ Ix Chel. I spent hours engrossed in reading all I could find on the Manataka website .. this sacred and ancient place of peace called to me big time .. a year or so before I became an Aussie member of Manataka I’d had a series of huge visions about Rainbows .. everything I was drawing had rainbows featured in it .. my dreams were full of rainbows .. a big full double rainbow bridge blessed me as I drove into Queensland letting me know I was in the right place/State to begin the next steps of my journey. I had been ‘shown’ in Vision a crystal tipi .. clear quartz crystal .. it was a big tipi and sitting outside it was./is [for I can still see and feel this as I type this to you] a Native American teacher sitting in front of his fire, and looking up at me, waiting kindly and patiently for me to sit with him and learn, share, about Rainbow Woman and the Beauty Way.
On the Manataka site I found out you could become a member of Manataka as long as you came from your heart and did your best to walk the road of peace and beauty just as Rainbow Woman had showed all the Native American folk who’d visited her sacred valley of hot springs and rainbows for 1,000’s of years so I applied to join and was accepted .. … wow did that make my heart sing.
Over the years I got to know Grandfather Standing Bear better and always found him to be there for me when I needed guidance, advice and so the friendship grew. About 18 months ago I got this Vision to have an Australian Manataka Gathering to coincide with ceremonies at Manataka in Hot Springs .. this vision of an Aussie Gathering was to bring Aussie Manataka members together - along with other folk who felt the pull in their hearts - sharing Ceremony in love peace harmony and acceptance - regardless of our respective backgrounds. So I gathered my courage and asked Bear if he thought this was possible and if he could please ask the Elders if they would allow this. I cried buckets of tears of joy when they said yes!!! What an honour and a blessing.
I sat quietly with Spirit and asked for guidance on how to go about grounding my visions and getting our Gathering happening. Bear was forthcoming with all manner of great advice and suggestions and I sat with this too. I shared with folk close to me, folk here that I love and trust and whom I knew would give sound advice. I walked the land and sought the quiet yet powerful advice of this sacred beautiful place of my birth and felt the support of Baiame, the Rainbow Serpent and the ancestors. Also we rode across it on my husband Baz’s Harley Davidson motorcycle .. following the ‘light’ I was shown to the possible venue sites until we found the camp in the Numinbah Valley that proved to be ideal and then I began setting about finding out which Aboriginal folk had this beautiful valley as part of their ‘country’ - their traditional sacred lands so we could honour and offer respect to them.
Whilst all this was going on, I was given the visions on the types of activities we could do to assist us all to work for healing and honouring Mother Earth and Mitakuye Oyasin .. and of course ourselves began. I sent a prayer request to the Keepers of the World Drum, White Cougar and Wolf in Norway and they were generous enough to say that yes, She could come to Australia and be a part of our Manataka Gathering. I cannot begin to describe what having her here with us has been like. Such a huge heart opening journey of trust, joy, wild fun and love. And a great deal of laughter and innocence as she has taken us on incredible journeys, both physical and inner ..showing us how to reclaim our innocence as children, to see and experience life through our hearts as children do and just simply allow that zest, that passion for life to flow through us and guide our steps and our songs.
And there was the prayer, the secret inner desire to have our Elders from Manataka join us, at first we thought this may be possible to have Bear and others. Then for a while with the economic downturn and globally people living in fear, this dream seemed an impossibility – there were even some folk saying that perhaps I should cancel the event as people weren’t putting their hands up to come along. Yet even with all that, I had within me this inner knowing to continue to have faith and trust .. and would you have it, 4 weeks before our Gathering first 1 and then 2 human angels stepped forward and offered to help, to support getting Bear and Morning Star here and if needs be, to underwrite our Gathering so that it could go ahead no matter how many came. I was so overwhelmed with the generosity of these two who asked for nothing, they simply let me know they supported the Visions and that what they were doing was ‘Giveaway’.
My sisters and brothers through Manataka, this Gathering has showed me so much, so often, how prayers of gratitude, letting go and allowing Rainbow Woman and Spirit to reveal the next steps forward so long as I kept my little fears, and others fears, out of the way. To trust, to give thanks, to ask for help and then to step aside and see what unfolded. Truly we are supported always if we simply allow ourselves to be guided through our hearts. The Creator loves us even with all our human ‘imperfections’ ..and maybe even because of them.
About this same time the sacred women in my Rainbow Moon Medicine Hoop stepped forward. These beautiful souls did all they could to help me and made all kinds of things from cutting out and sewing the white cloth that would form our Peace Shields to making me laugh or ‘kidnapping me for 10 minutes at the Gathering so I could have a moment of giggling and being wild without worrying if I was doing things the right way… it is sure humbling when you have wild women around you - they know how to keep you heart-centered and light. Thank you wild goddesses, you know who you are and how much I love, honour and respect you!!!
Another vision involved everyone at the Gathering coming together to make this great big Peace Catcher to hold our prayers for peace .. we used natural materials to create the hoop and strung the actual web using natural fibers as we exuberantly chanted a sacred prayer .. if you could have seen Morning Star’s face by the time she had finished leading us chanting this prayer .. we all just laughed and laughed for the sheer joy and beauty we saw there in her eyes .. our prayers were written onto little coloured paper ‘gammon’ boomerangs which Bear told me looked like ‘weeners’ – I later found out he meant ‘hotdogs’ … we had fun translating American words into Aussie slang and back again .. ask Amanda what ‘gammon’ means … she learnt a few new words while she was here and we learnt some from her and Bear too … after our Gathering we gave the Peace Catcher to an Aboriginal woman from Port Hedland in Western Australia .. she’s going to take it to the Aboriginal Women’s circle she is part of in Murwullimbah … they will work with it too in their way to send the peace prayers out across Mother Earth. And the Peace Shields that we painted following our visions from our Drum journeys in our Women’s and Men’s circles were hung around our ceremony circle to send the prayers via the winds to the four corners of the Earth. When they were taken down we gave them to Bear to take back to Manataka.
Other highlights of our first Gathering included being a part of the Welcome to Country ceremony for Grandfather Standing Bear and all of us including the fantastic dances done by Aboriginal men from the Narrakwal & Ngandawhal peoples in the Ipswich area. They often do public performances and we were all grateful to have them dance for us. Then there was Greeting the Day led by Bear on Sunday morning as an Eagle flew up out of its nest and circled over the mountains in front of us in our sacred circle to the sounds of singing and drumming as we all Welcomed the Day and sang the Morning Star song to ‘our’ Morning Star – Amanda … a few tears there too!!
Sharing and working with the World Drum was memorable - watching folk hold her, play her and dance with her … young and old … what an experience that was for all of us .. I could see and feel the presence of all who’ve held her before we had flowing in behind me as I had my turns at working with her. She has the Presence that is unmistakable and wonderful. Her presence has you drumming in ways you’ve never drummed before and this resonance comes up from her through you that is hard to put into words. She has a Voice that is felt and heard and embodied.
Other memorable moments include on the last morning at sunrise having 4 black cockatoos fly over .. for Aboriginal folk they are a symbol of rain and this past few days we have had the Thunders and the Cloud People blessing us with rain which is much needed and appreciated. Then there were the Women’s and the Men’s circles and from all accounts these times of working together and sharing openly from the heart, the journeying/visioning work that was undertaken - all of this helped folk to see that we are all ONE and by working together as family we can and will succeed in being and bringing peace, healing Mother Earth, ourselves and Mitakuye Oyasin .. there were many heart-warming things shared from and through these circles.
We also participated in an amazing Hindu sacred fire ceremony with Mukta. Yajna is a time of praying through chanting a mantra 108 times, whilst offering gifts to the sacred flame. For me it was a powerful reminder of the strength of heart prayers offered in open ceremony to all .. it brought us all together, none greater or smaller than any other, and it certainly filled my heart with a peace and joy that was powerful yet gentle, an inner sense of gratitude and love.
Our Manataka Gathering journey concluded on the Monday with a spontaneous ‘calling all’ together with the World Drum and the Grandmother Drum’s booming song-voices into the hall. Wow the energy that was generated was breathtaking and exuberant. Slowly people came from wherever they’d been packing up in the camp and either joined in the outer circle drumming and singing or - like me - stepped into the inner circle to follow Bear as he danced from his heart around the drums and the circle .. we sure danced and circled around the boundaries of the Earth in that space. How long this continued for I am not sure … all I knew was I was/we were all in that place of inner BEing NOW and it felt so wonderful so present so peace. And all the while Giveaway was there in so many forms, so many expressions, so many faces and voices and footsteps – including us singing to Bear our Aussie Bear song .. ‘there’s a Bear in there .. and a chair as well, there are people with games and stories to tell’ .. for Bear sure blessed us with many great stories over our time with him ;-) .
Finally everyone went there separate ways and some of us continued on to visit with an Aboriginal Elder, Uncle Harry at his camp on the Tweed River. Here the men sat and talked as is the Aboriginal way of men’s business and women’s business as separate yet connected ways of doing things. It was a wonderful time of making new friends and building bridges between communities. A few days later we took Bear and Amanda to Coochiemudloo Island to touch the waters of the Pacific and to play the World Drum and on Wednesday before they left to go home we stayed down at Brunswick Heads with brother Peter ..again to touch the Pacific Ocean’s sacred waters and to connect with more folk. Our fingers were crossed that Amanda would get to see some more wild dolphins like we had at Coochiemudloo and perhaps some Humpback Whales .. but alas that part was not to be this time .. maybe next time when she comes to stay in the Land Down Under.
Before I go, did I tell you about linking Morning Star with her sacred Aussie Power Animal??? Well we did. This happened on the Friday before the Gathering began. Baz and I took Bear, Amanda and my granddaughter Cheyenne, to Alma Park Zoo where finally - after all these years of loving them and having folk give her toy versions, Amanda got to hug a Koala – a real live beautiful soft fluffy koala called Maple .. you should have seen the look on her face as she finally got to see then hold one!! And the looks she gave the baby freshwater Croc that she got to pat too!!
What more can I say but thank you Spirit, Rainbow Woman and Bear for allowing us to continue having Manataka Australia Gatherings … we will let you know when we will be having our 2010 Manataka in Australia Gathering sometime soon .. again it feels like it will be Spring Ceremony time. I will walk the steps of the Beauty Way that unfolded before and during our Gathering, and continue to unfold now, for this Earthwalk in my heart and my life.
Bless you all and thank you from my heart for your being, your light and your love
Lynn Dream Dancer.
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