This is a little scary for me. I'll be honest, some of the feedback on my Witch Ways series scared me away from it. Because I'm sensitive about my own religion, I would never intentionally be disrespectful of another's beliefs. I like to consider myself open minded, and above all else, loving and nonjudgmental. The reactions to my Witch Ways series startled be, because I realized I had inadvertantly stepped on toes. It's true, all I knew of the Wiccas I had learned off the internet--which as everyone knows--isn't always the best or most reliable teacher.
And yet, I don't want to write just about white, middleclass folk, like myself. There's a magnificent world full of colorful cultures and subcultures with diverse stories and histories and I want to learn of them, write about them, and yet, always be honest, and kind.
And so it's with some trepidation I'm approaching my new story. I want to be respectful of Native Americans, their legends and beliefs. To that end, I'm making up a tribe so no one can point a finger and say, "Ah ha! She doesn't know what she's talking about!" (Although, they could say that, and be absolutely right.) But I'm writing fiction...grounded with a touch of realism.
So, here's a smidgen of my research into some of the Native American beliefs. I love these thoughts so much, I had to share.
All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.
Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
Everything the power does, it does in a circle.
Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. - Navajo
Listening to a liar is like drinking warm water. - Tribe Unknown
Every animal knows more than you do. - Nez Perce
To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. - Oglala Sioux
When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps. - Oklahoma
A starving man will eat with the wolf.
The bird who has eaten cannot fly with the bird that is hungry. - Omaha
Ask questions from you heart and you will be answered from the heart. - Omaha
Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed. - Plains
Cherish youth, but trust old age. - Pueblo
Sharing and giving are the ways of God. - Sauk
We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky. - Shawnee
Each person is his own judge. - Shawnee
We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth. - Shenandoah
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. - Shenandoah
With all things and in all things, we are relatives. - Sioux
The one who tells the stories rules the world. - Hopi
The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. - Sioux
A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. - Sioux
The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs. - Southwest
Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters