The Talking Circle is based on respect for others, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or religion. It is a way of communication in the Native American culture that is quite different than the usual competitive ways of communication out in the world. Within the Talking Circle, the concern for others will begin to take precedence over your own worries in life. You will learn to listen. So much can be gained by listening. Is it a coincidence that our Creator gave us one mouth and two ears? No, not really. It is the respect within the circle which allows the heart to be shared with each other. What we share with each other can bring healing to our hearts. This Talking Circle is about healing and reconciliation. I think that both are in dire need here in this forum.
First and foremost, this is not promotion of Native American spirituality. I'm a Christian. I believe and follow Jesus Christ. I have never once practiced the ancient spirituality of my NDN ancestors. In fact, I don't even know anything really personal about their religion. I wasn't raised in that culture or taught about anything about it. I haven't even asked an Elder of my Clan about it, because it is a place I chose not to tread. So, I want to make it perfectly clear that I don't worship trees, rivers or rocks. I doubt that is what true NDN spirituality is anyway, despite what I have been told by many non-native Christians. I have been told more times than I can count that I have to forsake my Native American heritage to be a "true" Christian. I have struggled with my faith for many years because of that. I know what it's like to be shunned, ridiculed, mistreated, and unfairly judged. I sympathize with all of you here. My heart goes out to you.
With all that said and out of the way, let me to take a few moments to introduce myself. I'm Ani, which is short for AniGequoti (pronounced Ah-Nee-Gee-Quo-Ti). Ani is what I'm called around here. AniGequoti means Garrett Clan in Cherokee. My given NDN name is Gigagei Tsula (pronounced Gee-Gah-Gee-Chew-La), which means Red Fox in Cherokee. I'm a member of the Ah-ni-gi-lo(la)-hi Clan of the Cherokee, through my mother. Family kinship ties within the Cherokee are determined by the mother's clan. Children are automatically members of the mother's clan at birth. I'm also a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma even though I'm of mixed blood Cherokee and Choctaw ancestry. Since I was adopted, in Oklahoma, where my adoption records were sealed, I had to first verify my blood quantum before I could become a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. And believe me, it wasn't an easy thing to do and the whole ordeal was enough to deter me from pursuing anymore information about my biological family or even my Choctaw ancestry. I was glad to learn that my birth mother was full blood Cherokee. Her family was on the Dawes Indian Roll and the Oklahoma Indian Roll. She had ancestors who came to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. It was my birth father's fault for my red hair, hazel eyes, freckles and fair skin. He was mixed blood Scottish and Choctaw. And that's all the information I know about him.
I don't know what else to say other than I'm a wife and stay at home, homeschooling mom of eight children (5 girls, 2 boys, and an angel in heaven named Little Buffalo). My oldest child is 16 and my youngest will turn 3 in August. I have been married for over 17 years to my beloved husband. And what I find rather humorous is that my husband doesn't have a drop of NDN blood in him, but he looks more NDN than I do! I gave each of my children an NDN name. I can speak some Cherokee, but not much. I don't know any of the Choctaw language. I would love to learn them both though. I have probably gone and said too much. I hope you're not completely bored out of your mind now. I hope you will continue to read what's said in this Talking Circle. I hope you will start to participate here as well. I really want this thread to be a place where healing and reconciliation can take place. I believe that respect for others, despite our differences, and listening to what others have to say, without being harsh or judgmental are the keys to its success here. I have learned from experience to be very careful about what I write concerning Native American way of life, culture, stories and history. I have learned from experience that some non-native people are offended by me talking about such things. I have often been the target of cruel and racist remarks and accused of not being a "true" Christian. I sincerely hope none of that happens to me here. If I "disappear" for a while, there's a good chance that it did happen to me again on CF. I just came back from a very long retreat from CF. Anyway, I hope your time here is blessed and is an encouragement to you. Welcome to my Talking Circle!
Last edited by AniGequoti; 5th September 2010 at 06:27 PM.
It has gotten a bit cooler here - 80's instead of 90's. The nights are getty downright nippy- 50's this week, 40's next. It will soon be time to trim the roses for the winter, put up the lawnmower and cover the pool.
__________________ "If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." Galations 5:15
"...a vice does not lose its nature, though it becomes ever so fashionable" -John Wesley
"To study too much in retreat can become an inexcusable indulgence. It behooves us to share what we have learned, to practice in administering to others what we have gathered from our experience with books" -the Brother Superior of the Glauxian Brothers of the Northern Kingdoms