Thje Friday, June 23, 2006 edition of the Albuquerque Tribune features a story about Odyssey of the 8th Fire. The Tribune story can be accessed on the web for the next 10 days or so at:
This is the text of a press release I recently sent out to announce my new book, which will be blogged on the internet day by day from June 23, 2006 into February, 2007.
Odyssey of the 8th Fire – An American Epic
– Creative Nonfiction in Online Evolution –
Santa Fe, NM â€“ Author Steven McFadden has announced the publication date of his new non-fiction book, Odyssey of the Eighth Fire. The book, which is a journal of a cross-continent walk, will be published day-by-day as an internet blog starting June 23, 2006, and running through February, 2007.
The manuscript will evolve online over the months of the project at http://www.8thfire.net — and then be published between covers.
Journalist McFadden, the author of seven other nonfiction books, has already published two segments of the Odyssey journal online: the Prologue and an account of Day Zero of the walk. Once the regular publishing rhythm gets underway on June 23, the blog will flow with daily journal entries for more than 225 days, leading into February, 2007.
Odyssey of the Eighth Fire tells the true tale of a long American prayer walk with Algonquin Keepers of the Seven Fire teachings. In 1995-96, over the course of eight months, a group of about 40 people â€“ of all colors and faiths — walked from the Atlantic to the Pacific, attempting to live out the original instructions of North America.
With a degree in journalism from Boston University and 30 years of professional experience, McFadden kept a daily journal during the walk. In the years after the walk he enlarged and enriched the journal so that it might serve also as a compendium of sacred teachings of North America — as embodied in the stories shared by the learned elders the walkers encountered as they made their way from ocean to ocean.
This epic story of spiritual adventure involves untold U.S. and world history, pressing environmental and social issues, a convoluted web of personal relationships, and a wealth of spiritual insight with direct relevance for our present era.
Because of the nature of the story and the challenges the walkers faced, Odyssey of the Eighth Fire also represents a metaphor for the larger journey â€“ or pilgrimage — that the whole world is making from an old time to a new time.
According to McFadden, thatâ€™s why he is publishing the massive work now, and making it available as a giveaway for every interested reader.
McFadden has created a web site for Odyssey of the Eighth Fire. He will blog (publish) the developed journal day by day for eight months on the Internet, from June 23, 2006 until February, 2007, and simultaneously archive the content so that it is accessible and searchable.
Readers are being invited to come along on the Odyssey of the Eighth Fire through the Internet, traveling day by day across contemporary America, guided by the ancient teaching traditions of our land.
The Eighth Fire website has the potential to be highly interactive, and thereby to serve as the nexus for an online community.
Readers will be able to follow the adventures and misadventures of the journey day-by-day across the back of Turtle Island (North America), while also having a place to interact, to discuss, and to apply what they are learning.
Odyssey of the 8th Fire
– END –
A tidal wave of petrochemicals, industrial toxins, genetically engineered components, and peculiar processes continues to adulterate our grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. In response many more people are turning to CSA — Community Supported Agriculture — to ensure clean food for their families.
It’s fundamental. Clean food is essential to good physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. If you eat crappy food all the time — knowingly or unknowingly — you will diminish yourself, and eventually become sick. Over the last 10 years it has become more and more difficult to know what is in food, or how clean it may or may not be. It could soon become exceedingly more difficult.
Just now Congress is advancing a bill that will keep individual states from adding warnings to food that go beyond federal rules. If this bill passes, consumers will have even less chance of knowing what strange things may have happened to, or have been added to, the food they eat.
The bill (HR 4167) will federalize and “make uniform” the food safety and labeling laws of all 50 states. It will block individual states from telling their citizens more information about the food than the federal government — and food industry lobbyists — want them to know.
For more information, and to take action to preserve the state laws that now require more complete information on food, see http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_food_safety/003165.html
To take active steps to insure a direct, local, clean supply of food for your family, you may wan to look into CSA farms. There could be, and probably should be, one in every town, village, and city.
Come November, 2006, I will join with farmers and consumers from across the upper Midwest of America to explore in depth what is going on with our food, how CSA farms are responding to insure clean food for the communities they are part of, and where the CSA movement may be headed in the years to come. I have posted the conference notice below.
Raising Vegetables and Civic Values: CSA in the 21st Century
A Conference for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
When: November 10-12, 2006
Where: Kettunen Center, Tustin, MI (just south of Cadillac)
We are building on the success of the CSA Conference held in 2004 at this location, also sponsored by CSA-MI. Look to the website for the latest news. Workshop planning is underway, and registration pricing and downloadable registration packets will be available soon. Some scholarships will be available to help with cost; applications on the website. We expect another capacity crowd, so register early!
Workshops for experienced and new CSA farmers, CSA wannabes, small farm advocates, community food/health advocates, educators and extension personnel.
Speakers like visionary, author and journalist Steven McFadden (Farms of Tomorrow Revisited) and farmer/poet/author Scott Chaskey (Quail Hill Farm and This Common Ground) …
…and many more who will inspire and educate
PLUS an intensive 1/2 day mini-school for new and prospective CSA growers: Learn the basics.
Join in good company to celebrate good soil, good work and good food
Get on our mailing list: CSA-MI, 3480 Potter Rd, Bear Lake, MI 49614
call 231-889-3216 (toll free 877-526-1441)
Basil Braveheart (Cante Tinza), an Oglala Lakota elder, plans to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico the weekend of February 10-12, 2006 to conduct Hocokat-Ton-Yan Wicozanni (Healing in a Circle).
I spoke with Mr. Braveheart by phone a couple of days before his visit. He told me that while he is in New Mexico he will guide teaching circles through an in-depth exploration of ceremony and ritual. He said that in this context the foundational focus of the weekend will be the honoring of feminine balance.
“There’s a profound imbalance in the world,” Braveheart said. “Because of masculine-patriarchal dominance, the feminine principle has been repressed. Thus we see an absence of relatedness, affection, and intuition. These aspects are essential for balance.”
“These spiritual concepts have a connection with the scientific concepts of Quantum Mechanics,” he said. “Native peoples have always seen the Creator present in all directions and in sacred motion. Ritual and ceremony are all about relatedness. In them we use symbols and images, and through these means people are introduced to a more compassionate way of relating to each other, to the sacred, and to Creator.”
“Quantum Mechanics is motion,” Braveheart said. “At the level of molecules, atoms, superstrings and such, all is in motion. Nothing is static. All of the universe is always in motion. My people have always understood this, and our rituals and ceremonies are an expression of our understanding, and a way to come into better relation with all that is. We have words in our language to describe this, and to communicate about it.”
“Indigenous people understand that Creator is revealed in all of Creation — in the air, the fire, the water, and the earth. We need to share these ways with the world.”
Braveheart has prepared himself for teaching via the traditional ways of the Lakota, and also has acquired two Masters degrees in education. He works extensively with veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as with other people who have addictions. Recently he has begun to travel to teach about Native American spirituality.
The weekend circle is being sponsored by Inyan Oyate Foundation, and will take place at the Ghost Ranch Conference Center, 401 Old Taos Highway, in Santa Fe.
– END –
By Steven McFadden – copyright 2005
I had the opportunity to visit this week with Hosteen Leon Secatero. We sat down together for lunch during an honoring ceremony held at the Albuquerque Museum in New Mexico.
Leon, an elder from the Cañoncito Band of the Navajo, talked with me about the next 500 years, and also about the next five months.
Our conversation was sparked by the recent pronouncements of Sydney Has No Horses, a Lakota Medicine Man. Mr. Has No Horses spoke on October 17, 2005 to a tribal council meeting on the Cheyenne River Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.
According to widely disseminated internet postings, at that meeting Mr. Has No Horses declared “within six months, we are going to be living in a hell of a world.” He told of his visions that warned about a tsunami hitting the West Coast, about Yellowstone’s Super Volcano erupting, about mammoth storms and earthquakes that would strike, about a meteor that would smash into the earth, and more.
By mid-November the message of Mr. Has No Horses had spread across the globe through the internet. Many people were responding with consternation.
When I met with Leon at the museum—where he was formally honored by the Council for International Visitors for his years of work as an ambassador of friendship for America—Leon told me he has been getting dozens of phone calls from people who are worried about this message. “They want to know what to do,” he said. “They want to know how to respond wisely to what they have heard.”
After getting all these phone calls, one way Leon chose to respond was to plan to gather and share his understandings alongside his old friend and colleague, Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez, Oxlaj, of Guatemala, a Mayan elder and sacerdote. Thus, early next month Grandfathers Leon and Alejandro will meet with people in Santa Fe, New Mexico to talk about this message, and also to talk about prophecy, revelation, and our era of earth changes.
Don Alejandro is a Daykeeper. Recognized before birth, he was trained in the traditional way to work with the elegant mathematics of the Mayan calendars leading up to the year 2012, just seven years ahead when the calendar will return to zero. He is charged as a primary keeper of the teachings, visions, and prophecies of the Mayan people.
I have known Don Alejandro since the early 1990’s when I set off on an extended pilgrimage with him to many of the pyramids, caves, and temples of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. He was a gracious and knowledgeable traveling companion.
Known also as Wandering Wolf for his global travels, Don Alejandro is a remarkable human being. His brown eyes fill with fire when he speaks of our earth and our responsibility to take care of it.
When I interviewed Don Alejandro for my book Legend of the Rainbow Warriors, He told me that indigenous cultures around the world hold in their oral traditions an understanding that civilizations have risen on Earth many times in the past, and then fallen. He said that these civilizations fell apart primarily because they developed and employed technology without wisdom or respect for nature; then the natural world became profoundly unbalanced. “Once again,” he said, “we are in a period of time when technology dominates life and is generally being applied without wisdom.”
“Big changes are coming in this frame of time,” Don Alejandro told me. “All the elders know that. That’s why it’s important to talk now and to remind people to respect Mother Earth, and to stop destroying the water, air, and mountains. We are in times of big change for the Earth, big earthquakes and hurricanes and also big conflicts in politics and war. Politicians promise changes, but we know that at their big meetings, done in the name of making things better, they do not make changes that work. It’s the same old thing. The people must make the changes themselves.”
At the museum this week, as Hosteen Secatero and I spoke at greater length about Don Alejandro, Sydney Has No Horses, and visions of global change, Leon said one of the things he is undertaking now is to help prepare people for our journey on the sacred path of life for the next 500 years.
“We have come again to an ending time, the ending time of the last 500 years according to our indigenous calendars. It is a time to return to the wisdom and teachings of the earth,” Leon said. “So many spiritual elders are carrying teachings now, but there are not enough pathways for them to meet with other people and share. I want to do something to help with this.”
In reference to Sydney Has No Horses, Leon said, “many spiritual elders are having visions and dreams like this now. It is not uncommon. So that is something to consider carefully. We need to bring these messages to the center so that all who are ready can share in them. Things can get way out of proportion, and be distorted. We need to establish a context.
“The journey we are beginning now is for the next 500 years. What will be the sacred path that people will walk over the next 500 years? Even in the midst of all the changes taking place and all the things falling apart, we are building that foundation now. That’s something important for us to remember and to focus on. If we don’t do it, no one else will.
“All anyone needs to do is look around,” Leon said. “We have been destroying nature systematically for many decades. Now nature is destroying us with winds and storms and earthquakes and volcanoes. All that was known a long time ago. The elders have been telling us for years that this would come. Now it’s here and it’s hurting us.
“We need to take a close look at this and then really come to terms with ourselves,” Leon said. “To move ahead into the next 500 years we must leave some things behind or they will contaminate or even eliminate the future. We cannot go forward if we keep destroying the earth. But we must also ask, what is good and healthy and helpful? Those good things can be part of our foundation, part of our pathway into the next 500 years.”
Original message of Sydney Has No Horses –
National Council for International Visitors
– END –
Copyright November, 2005 – Steven McFadden – Chiron Communications
~ Gathering ~
Friends of the Indigenous Elders
Don Alejandro, The Wandering Wolf
Mayan Elder of the Elders
Leon Secatero, Head Man
Canoncito Band of Navajo
December 3rd and 4th, 2005
at Sunrise Springs, Santa Fe, New Mexico
$150.00 Donation for the Elders
Luncheon, Snack and Dinner available
RSVP to: Cynthia Walker email@example.com 505-867-8087
The Chiron Communique has become a blog.
The Communique was birthed as a paper newsletter in 1989. I published it quarterly from 1989 to 1993, then put it into hibernation while I served as Director of The Wisdom Conservancy, and turned my hand to writing books.
Thanks to the advance of the internet, the Chiron CommuniquÃ© emerged from hibernation in June of 2001 with Volume 6, Number 1. http://chiron-communications.com/communique%20%206-1.html
When September, 2004 rolled around, I turned my attention fully to writing Odyssey of the Eighth Fire — the story of a walk across the United States under the ancient teaching of the Seven Fires of the Anishinabi and the sign of the Whirling Rainbow (Sunbow). I’m still at work on that manuscript. It should be ready for publication in 2006.
I have been so deep into the subject of the book, that I have let the Chiron Communique fall back into hibernation. I have things to say, but no time or energy or resources for the full-length articles which characterized the Communique in its e-mail incarnation.
Now, for the sake of convenience, I have changed the format of the Chiron Communique again. It has become this blog.
With good cheer, Steven McFadden (Admin)