Teachings of the Eagle Feather, part 15: Seeing in a Spirit Way
Updated: Apr 15, 2022
Onaabani-giizis/Onaabdin-giizis (Snowcrust Moon), March 24, 2022
I was soaring around
Like an eagle
In the sky.
Boozhoo, aaniin, biindigen! Hello and welcome to part 15 of my blog series titled "Teachings of the Eagle Feather."
Zhaawano-giizhik nindanishinaabewinikaazowin. Waabizheshi niin indoodem. Niin wawezhi'owininini miinawaa mazinibii'igewinini. Nindayaadizooked.
My name is Zhaawano Giizhik, my clan is Marten. I'm a jewelry maker and graphic artist, working in the Native Woodland art tradition. I am a storyteller at heart.
Throughout the years, I have managed to create a fairly big jewelry collection; lately I have began to start drawing as well - for which I use the outline drawing style of the Native Woodland painters. To me, my pieces and illustrations are living beings. I call them talking pieces. They talk, I listen. They speak of many stories and all I have to do is write them down.
Today's story, woven around an outline drawing titled "A Prayer for Life" and two ring sets created at my workbench, is about the flight of Grandmother/Grandfather Migizi, the White-headed eagle, and the role Migizi plays in our spiritual and ceremonial lives, when we look for wisdom, knowledge, and healing through our dreams and visions.
Ahaaw, ningad-aadizooke. Now, I will tell you a sacred tale…
GICHI-MANIDOO, after creating Aki, the World, spoke about the importance of mino-bimaadiziwin; living a life according to the Seven Grandfather Teachings.
Gimishoomisinaan Migizi, as we call Grandfather Eagle, became inspired and told Great Mystery that he, since his feathers symbolized the intermediate region between things of the spirit world and the earth, would like his feather to be gifted to the Anishinaabe person who’s the most brave and guided the most by the Teachings.
Migizi’s generous offer prompted GICHI-MANIDOO thereupon to tell the Anishinaabeg of the Teachings of the Feather. It (GICHI-MANIDOO) instructed the Elders of the Nation about the power of spirit flight and the importance of young adolescents engaging in what would become the most vital of human ventures: waaseyaabindam, the quest for life-guiding visions – particularly during the passage from boyhood into manhood.
It (GICHI-MANIDOO) also instructed them that no Eagle be harmed for their feathers, which were manidoog (spirits) in themselves, and that whenever a person saw an Eagle fly overhead, this mighty spirit bird must be honored with tobacco. GICHI-MANIDOO added that any person, no matter what gender or age, living their life according to the Seven Teachings would be gifted with a feather…
Illustration: A Prayer for Life © 2022 Zhaawano Giizhik. Go to the webshop to see details.