La Leun Calendar

Welcome to a new (old) perspective.  This calendar prioritizes the lunar phases over our more common calendar, while keeping enough of the common understandings to keep you grounded.  The Moons are from a prairie Cree understanding and the teachings from my Métis/Michif teachers.  The calendar begins with the new Spring Moon, which is where it feels natural for some of the first peoples of Turtle Island (North America).

The East

In a traditional Métis understanding of the world, each season comes with specific teachings.  In the time of first contact with other cultures on turtle island, the medicine wheel was created as a tool to help outsiders understand our way of looking at and being in the world.  Every nation has its own version of the wheel because each of our nations has different customs, protocols and understandings. The medicine wheel begins its teachings in the East. 

The East, represents the rising sun, new beginnings, new life and the re-awakening of mother earth.  As the area of physical life and learning, the East celebrates the four gifts of life: speech, mobility, vision, and hearing.  Spring is when we begin to reawaken those senses to the world around us.  The gentle spring winds gift us the sights and songs of our relatives as they begin the work of starting anew. 

Photo by Jordan Elliott on Unsplash

This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.

Moostoos Ohtsi

My favourite of the spring teachings is the one about Moostoos Ohtsi or Buffalo’s Belly Button. As it has been shared with me, the buffalo would trek to the northern prairies to come together as one herd so that they could mate and have their calves in the early spring time. After the mating period the male herd would break off once again and the powerful matriarchs would spend the spring and summer nurturing and teaching their calves on the prairies. These animals are strong medicine for our people and our land, so wherever a buffalo cow dropped a calf, a flower would grow.  This beautiful flower was given the name Moostoos Ohtsi, which is Cree for Buffalo belly button.

These little stories hint at much bigger truths.  This resilient little flower became an important part of the lives and medicines of my Cree and Métis ancestors. As a medicine leader, Moostoos Ohtsi was known to be extremely powerful and was only used in poultices for the deepest pains like rheumatism. The buffalo was the life of the prairies and a major player in ecosystems across the plains.  Western science lacks knowledge of the full extent of the buffalo’s impact on the prairie eco-system, but Indigenous science does not.  Today you can see Indigenous groups across the prairies repatriating the buffalo to return balance and health to our land.  It is the land that connects us all. 

In the words of my dear friend Tim Eashappie, “Walk with a good heart on mother earth”.

Photo by Erzsébet Vehofsics on Unsplash

This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.

Entering Goose Moon

Our moon names and teachings may seem cute or flippant to some, but each comes with a wealth of knowledge and understanding about the world and how to live in it, Goose Moon is no exception.  By mindfully watching and engaging with our relatives, our ascended grandparents were able to gather their teachings over generations, infusing them into names and stories so that they would not be forgotten.

Geese are extremely loyal, they mate for life and are protective of their community members.  In community, geese will keep watch so that others can eat and rest, rotating the watch duty to share the work.  When they make their long journey, Geese have the ability to fly much longer and farther than others because they fly in formation, which reduces the air resistance for those at the back.  Each member takes a turn at the front while those in the back honk their appreciation.

Goose Moon teaches us to honour our strong connection to our community and family.  Difficulties and change are natural parts of life and community is the antidote.  Much like the goose who falls out of formation when another is sick or wounded, we too must care for others and when change occurs or we feel overwhelmed, we need only reach out for support, and allow others to take care of us.

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

This is part of a series of mindfulness prompts that are based in Métis teachings. Each weekly post has an image specifically designed to fit the lock-screen on your phone. The idea is that you can make mindfulness easy, effective and beautiful all at the same time. Placing each new image on your lock screen serves to keep it in the front of your mind while the week allows you enough time to lean into the learning.

Take what you need

The work on this page is my passion, and where I borrow, I give thanks.  Borrow what you need, share as often as you can, but let my name travel with my words so that the voice remains authentic.

This season, we have seen our world, our mother, take a long awaited and much needed deep breath of her own.  The birds sing louder, the four leggeds roam more freely and the scent of warming cedar has the space to reach our noses.

I am filled with gratitude for all that each of you has sacrificed to bring in this spring and cannot wait to learn a new way to be together that allows the world its continued breath.

Tracy

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