Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Night of the Red Sky

Night of the Red Sky
Native American Metis Prophesy
The Prophetic Visions of 'Grandfather'
from Tom Brown Jr.
In the 1920s, an Apache wise man had a Vision of four prophecies that foretold death and destruction for mankind, unless we incorporate Spirit in our daily lives.

Two of these prophecies may already have come true.

A number of people can predict the future, but few get the timing correct. "Grandfather" was an Apache wise man and scout, named Stalking Wolf, who grew up outside white man's influence. His many predictions not only came true in the manner he predicted, but also when he predicted.

Tom Brown, Jr. learned extensively from Grandfather for twenty years, from their first meeting when Tom was seven years old. Stalking Wolf was the real-life grandfather of Tom's best friend at the time. The following excerpt from Tom's book, The Quest, tells of Grandfather's predictions for all of mankind.

Looking back, I can clearly see that Grandfather's prophecies, unlike anything else, had the greatest influence on my life. At the time they had little more effect than to frighten me and cause me to sit up and take notice. It wasn't until after his prophecies began to come true that their haunting impact began to affect me in a very profound way.

More than any other person-prophet, religious leader or psychic-I have ever met, Grandfather's prophecies, on both a major and a minor scale, came true exactly at the time he prophesied and exactly as he prophesied. With that record, I could not help but feel the impact of these prophecies on my life.

Grandfather could foretell the future with tremendous accuracy. Not only could he precisely tell us what would happen in the next moment, day, week or year, but with the same accuracy he could predict the possible futures for ten years and more away. It was not long before I began to keep detailed records of his predictions, along with other notes I kept on survival skills, tracking, awareness and things of the Spirit. I received from Grandfather hundreds of personal, minor predictions, and well over half have since come true. Along with the minor personal prophecies was a list of 103 major predictions, of which, to date, over 65 have become absolutely true, not only in time and place but also in the exact order in which they were predicted to happen.

Grandfather said that there was not future, only possible futures. The 'now' was like the palm of a hand, with each finger being the possible future, and, as always, one of the futures was always the most powerful, the way that the main course of events would surely take us. Thus his predictions were of the possible future, which meant that he always left a choice.

"If a man could make the right choices," he said, "then he could significantly alter the course of the possible future. No man, then, should feel insignificant, for it only takes one man to alter the consciousness of mankind through the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things. In essence, one thought influences another, then another, until the thought is made manifest throughout all of Creation. It is the same thought, the same force, that causes an entire flock of birds to change course, as the flock then has one mind."

Out of all the personal and major prophecies that Grandfather foretold, there are four that stand out above all the rest. It is these four that mark the destruction of man and life on Earth, as we know it to exist now. Yet Grandfather said that we could still change things, even after the first two prophecies came true, but that there could be no turning back after the third.

Now that we have gone well past the second prophecy, danger and destruction are very apparent, and our only recourse is to work harder to change what has possibly become the inevitable. The urgency that I feel-now, more than ever-is a direct result of the second, impossible prophecy coming true. It is the reason that I teach, sometimes with a certain desperation, and constantly with the sense that we are quickly running out of time.

I should have worked harder and with that same desperation at a much earlier date, but, like the rest of mankind, it took a strong message to get me motivated. I should have known that these things he prophesied would some day come true, because his personal, minor predictions were coming true daily.

He so accurately foretold of Rick's death on a white horse, that I would some day teach, that I would have a son-and that taking him into the Pine Barrens for the first time would forever change my life. He predicted the formation of my school, my books, my family, and even the horrible mistakes I would make as I tried to live within society.

Yet with all of this coming true on a daily basis, I simply would not believe or accept that the major prophecy of man's destruction would come true, and its reality hit me hard. It was then that the urgency made itself known.

I remember so vividly the "night of the four prophecies"-as I have become accustomed to calling that night when Grandfather first made us aware of their possibility. We had been with Grandfather for five years at the time and were accustomed to his prophecies and their accuracy.

Our ability to understand the things of the Spirit world were as sure as our ability to survive and track. Very little of what society calls "the paranormal" shocked us any more, because miracles were part of our everyday existence. Grandfather was a living miracle, and so many of the things that he did on a daily basis, sometimes unconsciously, would be considered miraculous by most. Yet as savvy as we were spiritually, the night of the four prophecies shocked us like nothing we had ever experienced before.

We had been hiking all day without much of a break, making our way to a place where we were going to camp, atop a small hill that I now call Prophecy Hill. It was a typical midsummer hike: hot, humid and dusty, with no water available along our entire travel route. As usual, we still took time to stop frequently or take side trips to explore various areas along our route. The adventure and exploration kept us fresh and eager, making the fatigue, heat and thirst hardly factors.

Many times along the way, Grandfather would stop and teach us-not physical lessons of survival, tracking or awareness, but lessons dealing with the awareness of Spirit. Very often he would discuss the future and, almost as frequently, the past-the distant past.

At one point we stopped along the deer trail we were travelling and followed Grandfather through some heavy brush. The trees and shrubs were far different than those throughout the rest of the Pine Barrens, and I immediately knew this place as an old homestead or town of some sort. Even though the buildings had long since rotted away, the plants and trees still marked the spot where civilisation had once stood. Passing through several very thick areas, we finally entered a grove of very tall, old sycamore trees. From their branches and up their trunks ran huge vines, the kind one might imagine finding in a jungle. In fact, the whole place looked like a jungle-so out of place from the pine, oak and blueberry that is typical in the Pine Barrens. As we sat down, a deeper spiritual sense of awareness came over me, and it was then that I noticed the gravestones.

This was the place of a very old and probably long-forgotten cemetery, possibly belonging to the town that had once been here. The stones were old; some lay flat on the ground and others stood upright, though none was straight. Plants and bushes had overrun many of the stones, and I could barely make out the markings on the stones. The weathering process had worn away many of the names and dates, making them barely readable.

At once we were in awe, humbled and reverent in this place of death; at the same time, we were amazed that Grandfather had found it so easily. To my knowledge, none of us had been there before, nor had Grandfather ever spoken of this graveyard. Yet for some reason he seemed to be drawn to it, knowing that it was there on some unseen spiritual level, at least unseen to us. I suspect now, as I look back, that he knew that it would become a teaching lesson for us.

He walked over to a gravestone that was partially hidden by foxgrape vines and gently pulled them away. After a long moment, he motioned us to come over. We could barely make out the name on the grave or the dates, but at the bottom was carved clearly: "12 years old".

Grandfather then spoke. "Who are these people; who is this boy? What did they work for and what were their hopes, dreams and visions? Did they just work physically or did they work for the things beyond the flesh, for a grander purpose? Certainly they affected the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things, but did they really work to the best of their ability to make things better for the future of their grandchildren, or did they do nothing other than to perpetuate the myth of society? Were they happy, joyous and filled with spiritual rapture, or did they just lead lives of labour and mediocrity? And did this boy live close to the Earth and the Creator, or did he just give up his youth, his sense of adventure, to toil, as did his parents and their parents before them? This boy was exactly your age, and I suspect he had hopes and dreams much like yours. But this is his legacy, lying in a forgotten grave."

"But, Grandfather," I said, "isn't it enough just to be happy and live your life fully?"

After a long moment of silence, Grandfather answered. "It is not enough that man be just happy in the flesh, but he must also be happy and joyous in spirit. For without spiritual happiness and rapture, life is shallow. Without seeking the things of the Spirit, life is half lived and empty. And by spiritual life I do not mean just setting aside one hour of one day of one week for worship, but to seek the things of the spirit every moment of every day. I ask you, then: What did these people do to seek spiritual enlightenment and rapture? Did they just give in to a life that was little more than work? They were given a choice every day of their lives-as you will be given a choice to seek the rapture of the Spirit or to resign yourselves to a life of meaningless work. The end result is always the same: forgotten graves and forgotten dreams of forgotten people. It is not important that anyone notice or remember, but that you work to touch God and affect in a positive way the consciousness of the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things, thus bringing the consciousness of man closer to the Creator."

We left the graveyard without a word and headed up to the campsite on the hill. By the time we reached the camp, it had cooled off and the Sun had long since set. As we built shelters and a fire and gathered food, time seemed to fly by unnoticed, as my mind was thoroughly engrossed in thoughts of the lessons in the graveyard. I wondered how much I might be like that nameless dead boy in that forgotten grave. Was I just seeking the flesh and not working hard enough in the things of the Spirit?

It was then that I realized the deeper lessons of what Grandfather was trying to teach me. I realized then that I should live life as if I were to die tomorrow, for that is what happened to that young boy. No one can be assured of another day, but we must live each day fully, in flesh and most of all in Spirit. It isn't important that anyone remember who we were, but that we made a positive change in the consciousness of the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things, the life force of the Earth, and, in doing so, find spiritual rapture and touch the Creator.

I sat by the fire after the work was done, relaxing, still deep in thought about the boy in the graveyard. Grandfather sat at the far end of the fire, his eyes closed, but I suspected that he was not sleeping. In the firelight, his features appeared more that of a spirit than of flesh. Quietly he leaned forward and answered the many questions I had on my mind. At times, his ability to know what was on my mind was unnerving, sometimes making me angry to think that he could know my thoughts.

"Did you ever watch a flock of sandpipers on the beach, how they ebb and flow with the tides, becoming at times not a gathering of individual animals but one organism, moving as a unit together along the surf? When they burst into flight, their cohesiveness is even more startling and wondrous. At once they all will be flying in a certain direction, and then in an instant the entire flock will turn simultaneously and take a new direction.

"Studied closely, there is no one bird that makes the decision to turn, but it seems to be a Spirit, a collective consciousness, that runs through the flock instantly. When viewed from afar, the flock appears to be one animal, one organism, one consciousness, governed by the collective force and spirit of all the individuals. It is this same consciousness that runs through man, Nature and the Earth-that which we call the 'Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things', or the 'life force'.

"I suspect," he continued, "that it is but one bird that creates the thought that turns the flock, and the one thought becomes immediately manifested in all the others. The individual then transcends self and becomes one with the whole. Thus, at once, the bird moves within the flock and the flock moves within the bird. So, then, do not ask what you can do to affect the life force in a positive way, for the same Spirit that moves within the birds also moves within you. One person, one idea, one thought can turn the flock of society away from the destructive path of modern times. It is not a question as to whether we make a difference, for we all make a difference, each of us in our own way. It is the difference we make that is important."

"So if we live a life that is close to the Spirit, seek the spiritual rapture of oneness, that will affect the outcome of life," I said. My statement was more a question than a declaration.

"It is not enough," Grandfather said, "just to seek the things of the Spirit on a personal level. To do so is selfish, and those who just seek the spiritual realms for themselves are not working to change the Spirit that moves through the consciousness of man. Instead they are running away, hiding from their responsibility and using their wisdom for their own glorification. Spiritual man must then work for a principle, a cause, a Quest far greater than the glorification of self, in order to affect the spirit that can change the course of man's destruction."

I sat for a long time in the quietude of the night, trying desperately to understand what Grandfather had told me. In essence, it was not enough to work for spiritual enlightenment for self, but to work for the spiritual enlightenment of all of mankind. To work only for self, to cloister oneself in the seeking of spiritual rapture, is to run from this responsibility. What Grandfather was saying is that a spiritual person must take the wisdom and philosophy of the Earth and bring it back into modern society.

Grandfather spoke again. "Trying to live a spiritual life in modern society is the most difficult path one can walk. It is a path of pain, of isolation and of shaken faith, but that is the only way that our Vision can become reality. Thus the true Quest in life is to live the philosophy of the Earth within the confines of man. There is no church or temple we need to seek peace, for ours are the temples of the wilderness. There are no spiritual leaders, for our hearts and the Creator are our only leaders. Our numbers are scattered; few speak our language or understand the things that we live. Thus we walk this path alone, for each Vision, each Quest, is unique unto the individual. But we must walk within society or our Vision dies, for a man not living his Vision is living death."

For a long time there was no other conversation. I retired into my own thoughts and doubts. I did not want to live within society, for the wilderness was my home, my love, my life and my spiritual rapture. I could not see why a man could not live his Vision in the purity of wilderness, away from the distractions of society. I could feel no urgency or see any reason why I should take what I have learned back to society.

Grandfather's voice shattered my thoughts. "The Earth is dying. The destruction of man is close, so very close, and we must all work to change that path of destruction. We must pay for the sins of our grandfathers and grandmothers, for we have long been a society that kills its grandchildren to feed its children. There can be no rest, and we cannot run away; far too many in the past have run away. It is very easy to live a spiritual life away from man, but the truth of Vision in spiritual life can only be tested and become a reality when lived near society."

"How do I know that we are so close to that destruction?" I asked.

"I had a Vision," Grandfather said. "It was a Vision of the destruction of man. But man was given four warnings to that destruction, two of which gave man a chance to change his ways and two of which would give the children of the Earth time to escape the Creator's wrath."

"How will I know these warnings, these signs?" I asked.

Red Sky Prophecy - Part 2 of 2
by Tom Brown Jr.

Grandfather continued. "They will be obvious to you and those who have learned to listen to the Spirit of the Earth; but to those who live within the flesh and know only flesh, there is no knowing or understanding. When these signs, these warnings and prophecies, are made manifest, then you will understand the urgency of what I speak. Then you will understand why people must not just work for their own spiritual rapture but to bring that rapture to the consciousness of modern man."

The Four Signs

Grandfather had been wandering for several years and was well into his forties when the Vision of the four signs was given to him. He had just finished his third Vision Quest at the Eternal Cave when the Vision made itself known. He had been seated at the mouth of the cave, awaiting the rising Sun, when the spirit of the warrior appeared to him. He felt as if he were in a state somewhere between dream and reality, sleep and wakefulness, until the spirit finally spoke and he knew that it was not his imagination. The spirit called Grandfather's name and beckoned him to follow.

As Grandfather stood, he was suddenly transported to another world. Again, he thought that he was dreaming, but his flesh could feel the reality of this place; his senses knew that this was a state of abject reality, but in another time and place.

The spirit warrior spoke to Grandfather. "These are the things yet to come that will mark the destruction of man. These things you may never see, but you must work to stop them and pass these warnings on to your grandchildren. They are the possible futures of what will come if man does not come back to the Earth and begin to obey the laws of Creation and the Creator. There are four signs, four warnings, that only the children of the Earth will understand. Each warning marks the beginning of a possible future, and as each warning becomes reality, so too does the future it marks."

With that, the spirit warrior was gone and Grandfather was left alone in this strange, new world.

The First Sign

The world he was in was like nothing he had ever known. It was a dry place with little vegetation. In the distance he saw a village, yet it was made out of tents and cloth rather than from the materials of the Earth. As he drew closer to the village, the stench of death overwhelmed him and he grew sick. He could hear children crying, the moaning of elders and the sounds of sickness and despair. Piles of bodies lay in open pits awaiting burial, their contorted faces and frail frames telling of death from starvation. The bodies appeared more like skeletons than flesh, and children, adults and elders all looked the same, their once dark-brown complexions now ash-grey. As Grandfather entered the village, the horror of living starvation struck him deeper. Children could barely walk, elders lay dying, and everywhere were the cries of pain and fear. The stench of death and the sense of hopelessness overwhelmed Grandfather, threatening to drive him from the village.

It was then that an elder appeared to Grandfather, at first speaking in a language that he could not understand. Grandfather realized, as the elder spoke, that he was the spirit of a man-a man no longer of flesh, but a man who had once walked a spiritual path, possibly a shaman of this tribe. It was then that he understood what the old one was trying to tell him.

The elder spoke softly. "Welcome to what will be called the 'land of starvation'. The world will one day look upon all of this with horror and will blame the famine on the weather and the Earth. This will be the first warning to the world that man cannot live beyond the laws of Creation, nor can he fight Nature. If the world sees that it is to blame for this famine, this senseless starvation, then a great lesson will be learned. But I am afraid that the world will not blame itself, but that the blame will be placed on Nature. The world will not see that it created this place of death by forcing these people to have larger families. When the natural laws of the land were broken, the people starved, as Nature starves the deer in winter when their numbers are too many for the land to bear."

The old one continued. "These people should have been left alone. They once understood how to live with the Earth, and their wealth was measured in happiness, love and peace. But all of that was taken from them when the world saw theirs as a primitive society. It was then that the world showed them how to farm and live in a less primitive way. It was the world that forced them to live outside the laws of Creation and, as a result, is now forcing them to die."

The old man slowly began to walk away, back to the death and despair. He turned one last time to Grandfather, and said: "This will be the first sign. There will come starvation before and after this starvation, but none will capture the attention of the world with such impact as does this one. The children of the Earth will know the lessons that are held in all of this pain and death, but the world will only see it as drought and famine, blaming Nature instead of itself."

With that, the old one disappeared, and Grandfather found himself back at the mouth of the Eternal Cave.

Grandfather lay back on the ground, thinking about what he had witnessed. He knew that it had been a Vision of the possible future and that the spirit of the warrior had brought him to it to teach him what could happen. Grandfather knew that people all over the Earth were now starving-but why was this starvation so critical, so much more important than all the rest, even more important than the starvation that was taking place now?

It was then that Grandfather recalled that the tribal elder had said that the entire world would take notice, but that the world would not learn the lessons of what the death and famine were trying to teach. The children would die in vain.

Grandfather looked out across the barren land that surrounded the Eternal Cave to try to re-establish the reality of his 'now'. He said that it was still hard to discern between waking reality and the world of Vision, but he felt that he was back into his time and place.

He told me that the Eternal Cave was always a place to find Visions of the possible and probable futures, and it was not uncommon for the searcher to have a Vision at the mouth of the cave, not just inside.

In a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, Grandfather fell into a deep sleep, but it was in this sleep that the warrior spirit appeared to him again and brought the remainder of the first sign to completion.

In his dream, the spirit spoke to Grandfather. "It is during the years of the famine, the first sign, that man will be plagued by a disease, a disease that will sweep the land and terrorize the masses. The white coats [doctors/scientists] will have no answers for the people, and a great cry will arise across the land. The disease will be born of monkeys, drugs and sex. It will destroy man from inside, making common sickness a killing disease. Mankind will bring this disease upon himself as a result of his life, his worship of sex and drugs, and a life away from Nature. This, too, is a part of the first warning; but, again, man will not heed this warning and he will continue to worship the false gods of sex and the unconscious spirit of drugs." [Author's note: This is presumably a reference to AIDS.]

The spirit continued. "The drugs will produce wars in the cities of man, and the nations will arise against those wars, arise against that killing disease. But the nations will fight in the wrong way, lashing out at the effect rather than the cause. It will never win these wars until the nation, until society, changes its values and stops chasing the gods of sex and drugs. It is then, in the years of the first sign, that man can change the course of the probable future. It is then that he may understand the greater lessons of the famine and the disease. It is then that there can still be hope. But once the second sign of destruction appears, the Earth can no longer be healed on a physical level. Only a spiritual healing can then change the course of the probable futures of mankind."

With that, the warrior spirit let Grandfather fall into a deep and dreamless sleep, allowing him to rest fully before any more Vision was wrought upon him.

The Second Sign

Grandfather awoke at the entrance of the cave once again, the memory of the warrior spirit still vivid in his mind, the spirit's words becoming part of his soul.

When Grandfather looked out across the landscape, all had changed. The landscape appeared drier; there was no vegetation to be seen, and animals lay dying. A great stench of death arose from the land, and the dust was thick and choking, the intense heat oppressive. Looking skyward, the Sun seemed to be larger and more intense; no birds or clouds could be seen, and the air seemed thicker still. It was then that the sky seemed to surge and huge holes began to appear. The holes tore with a resounding, thunderous sound, and the very Earth, rocks and soil shook.

The skin of the sky seemed to be torn open like a series of gaping wounds, and through these wounds seeped a liquid that seemed like the oozing of an infection, a great sea of floating garbage, oil and dead fish. It was through one of these wounds that Grandfather saw the floating bodies of dolphins, accompanied by tremendous upheavals of the Earth and violent storms. As he held fast to the trembling Earth, his eyes fell from the sky, and all about him, all at once, was disaster. Piles of garbage reached to the skies, forests lay cut and dying, coastlines were flooded and storms grew more violent and thunderous. With each passing moment, the Earth shook with greater intensity, threatening to tear apart and swallow Grandfather.

Suddenly the Earth stopped shaking and the sky cleared. Out of the dusty air walked the warrior spirit, who stopped a short distance from Grandfather. As Grandfather looked into the face of the spirit, he could see that there were great tears flowing from his eyes, and each tear fell to the Earth with a searing sound.

The spirit looked at Grandfather for a long moment, then finally spoke. "Holes in the sky."

Grandfather thought for a moment, then, in a questioning, disbelieving manner, said, "Holes in the sky?"

And the spirit answered. "They will become the second sign of the destruction of man. The holes in the sky and all that you have seen could become man's reality. It is here, at the beginning of this second sign, that man can no longer heal the Earth with physical action. It is here that man must heed the warning and work harder to change the future at hand. But man must not only work physically, he must also work spiritually, through prayer, for only through prayer can man now hope to heal the Earth and himself."

There was a long pause as Grandfather thought about the impossibility of holes in the sky. Surely Grandfather knew that there could be a spiritual hole, but a hole that the societies of the Earth could notice would hardly seem likely.

The spirit drew closer and spoke again, almost in a whisper. "These holes are a direct result of man's life, his travel, and of the sins of his grandfathers and grandmothers. These holes, the second sign, will mark the killing of his grandchildren and will become a legacy to man's life away from Nature. It is the time of these holes that will mark a great transition in mankind's thinking. They will then be faced with a choice-a choice to continue following the path of destruction, or a choice to move back to the philosophy of the Earth and a simpler existence. It is here that the decision must be made, or all will be lost."

Without another word, the spirit turned and walked back into the dust.

The Third Sign

Grandfather spent the next four days at the cave entrance, though for those four days nothing spoke to him, not even the Earth. He said that it was a time of great sorrow, of aloneness, and a time to digest all that had taken place.

He knew that these things would not appear in his lifetime, but they had to be passed down to the people of the future with the same urgency and power with which they had been delivered to him. But he did not know how he would explain these unlikely events to anyone. Surely the elders and shamans of the tribes would understand, but not society, and certainly not anyone who was removed from the Earth and Spirit.

He sat for the full four days, unmoving, as if made of stone, and his heart felt heavy with the burden he now carried.

It was at the end of the fourth day that the third Vision came to him. As he gazed out onto the landscape towards the setting Sun, the sky suddenly turned to a liquid and then turned blood-red. As far as his eyes could see, the sky was solid red, with no variation in shadow, texture or light. The whole of Creation seemed to have grown still, as if awaiting some unseen command. Time, place and destiny seemed to be in limbo, stilled by the bleeding sky. He gazed for a long time at the sky, in a state of awe and terror, for the red colour of the sky was like nothing he had ever seen in any sunset or sunrise. The colour was that of man, not of Nature, and it had a vile stench and texture. It seemed to burn the Earth wherever it touched. As sunset drifted to night, the stars shone bright red, the colour never leaving the sky, and everywhere the cries of fear and pain were heard.

Again, the warrior spirit appeared to Grandfather, but this time as a voice from the sky. Like thunder, the voice shook the landscape. "This, then, is the third sign, the night of the bleeding stars. It will become known throughout the world, for the sky in all lands will be red with the blood of the sky, day and night. It is then, with this sign of the third probable future, that there is no longer hope. Life on the Earth as man has lived it will come to an end, and there can be no turning back, physically or spiritually. It is then, if things are not changed during the second sign, that man will surely know the destruction of the Earth is at hand. It is then that the children of the Earth must run to the wild places and hide. For when the sky bleeds fire, there will be no safety in the world of man."

Grandfather sat in shocked horror as the voice continued.

"From this time, when the stars bleed, to the fourth and final sign, will be four seasons of peace [that is, one year]. It is in these four seasons that the children of the Earth must live deep in the wild places and find a new home, close to the Earth and the Creator. It is only the children of the Earth that will survive, and they must live the philosophy of the Earth, never returning to the thinking of man. And survival will not be enough, for the children of the Earth must also live close to the Spirit. So tell them not to hesitate if and when this third sign becomes manifest in the stars, for there are but four seasons to escape."

Grandfather said that the voice and red sky lingered for a week, and then were gone as quickly as they were manifest.

The Fourth Sign

He did not remember how many days he'd spent at the mouth of the cave, nor did it make a difference, for he had received the Vision he had come for.

It was in his final night at the Eternal Cave that the fourth Vision came to Grandfather, this time carried by the voice of a young child.

The child said, "The fourth and final sign will appear through the next ten winters [that is, ten years] following the night that the stars will bleed. During this time, the Earth will heal itself and man will die. For those ten years, the children of the Earth must remain hidden in the wild places, make no permanent camps, and wander to avoid contact with the last remaining forces of man. They must remain hidden, like the ancient scouts, and fight the urge to go back to the destruction of man. Curiosity could kill many."

There was a long silence, until Grandfather spoke to the child spirit, asking, "And what will happen to the worlds of man?"

There was another period of silence until finally the child spoke again. "There will be a great famine throughout the world, like man cannot imagine. Waters will run vile, the poisons of man's sins running strong in the waters of the soils, lakes and rivers. Crops will fail, the animals of man will die, and disease will kill the masses. The grandchildren will feed upon the remains of the dead, and all about will be the cries of pain and anguish. Roving bands of men will hunt and kill other men for food, and water will always be scarce, getting scarcer with each passing year. The land, the water, the sky will all be poisoned, and man will live in the wrath of the Creator. Man will hide at first in the cities, but there he will die. A few will run to the wilderness, but the wilderness will destroy them, for they had long ago been given a choice. Man will be destroyed, his cities in ruin, and it is then that the grandchildren will pay for the sins of their grandfathers and grandmothers."

"Is there then no hope?" Grandfather asked.

The child spoke again. "There is only hope during the time of the first and second signs. Upon the third sign, the night of the bleeding, there is no longer hope, for only the children of the Earth will survive. Man will be given these warnings; if unheeded, there can be no hope, for only the children of the Earth will purge themselves of the cancers of mankind, of mankind's destructive thinking. It will be the children of the Earth who will bring a new hope to the new society, living closer to the Earth and Spirit."

Then all was silent, the landscape cleared and returned to normal, and Grandfather stepped from the Vision. Shaken, he said that he had wandered for the next season, trying to understand all that had been given to him, trying to understand why he had been chosen.

Grandfather had related the story to me in great detail during that night of the four prophecies. I don't think that any event had been left out, and his emotions and thoughts were such that he actually relived it for us. Thus the power of his Vision became part of our spirit, our driving force, and a big part of our fears.

I sat for a long time up on the hill. The fire had gone out, and all had retired to sleep for the night. Creation seemed to be at a standstill, awaiting this darkest part of the night to pass by. I felt alone and vulnerable, as if all of Creation were scrutinising my every thought.

Grandfather had these Visions some time in the 1920s.

About the Author:
Tom Brown, Jr has called the wilderness home for most of his life. In 1978 he wrote his first book, The Tracker (an autobiography), and founded the Tracker School where he teaches courses in survival skills such as tracking, nature awareness and ancient Earth philosophy. He has since written another 15 books, including Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival as well as The Search, The Vision, The Quest, The Journey, Grandfather and Awakening Spirits. For details on tracking courses and how to obtain Tom's books, visit The Tracker, Inc. website at
This article was extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 7, Number 1 (December 1999 - January 2000).

Friday, March 28, 2008

Up Date on Living Situation

Sadly I do not live in my shelter anymore :-( I do, however, have a good reason for leaving it. I am married now and my wife didn't like the idea of living out there. I told her that I would add on another room but she just wouldn't have any of it.

I am still going to keep posting different projects I am working on.

I have started a primitive skills group with my church and we are presenting an ongoing class on basic survival. I am hoping to get a group interested in survival enough to want to take a survival hike this summer.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Primitive Camp

Here is my attempt to build a primitive camp. After taking the Standard at the Tracker School I realy wanted to have a debris hut of my own. I built this one on my in-laws property awhile ago.

I am going to take some pictures of this camp as it is today becuase these pictures do not show it finished. This just give you an idea of what it looks like.

Tillamook Shelter

This shelter never really got finished because of lack of time and raw materials available. The location is near where my brother-in-law lives in Tillamook. We are hope to keep adding to it until the walls are finished enough to keep the water out.

So far we have only used natural material for the lashing.

We were able to put in fire pit and two bedding areas for sleeping. I don't have a picture of the current progress...will come later. We did spent the night and were very comfortable.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I have been looking into a legal way have getting animals for their hides and also for food. I was picking up road kill awhile back and was able to make some nice projects with them. However, I am going to teach others about skinning and preparing an animal using real animals I would like to do it legally. I did a search on nutria and found out alot of information. It is legal to live trap nutria without any permits or fees. There are no restrictions to how many can be killed. This is because they are not native to North America and are a real problem. Here is all the information you will need. I would really like to hear from anyone about what they think about this and/or if anyone gets a trap and does it. I am very excited to get started. I already have projects in my head of what to make.

The nutria is a member of the myocastoridae family. The word "nutria" means "otter" in Spanish. Nutria are native to portions of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay and are not indigenous to the State of Oregon. The South American nutria became a subject of interest in the fur industry back in the early 1930s when their large size and high reproductive potential held promise for fur farming businesses in North America. Many hopeful investors started small captive colonies in many locations in the United States, Canada, and many European countries. Many of these farms, however, did not succeed and the animals either escaped or were intentionally released to the wild, which resulted in the wild populations present today. Wild nutria were first reported in Oregon during the 1930s.
At first glance, nutria may be misidentified as a beaver or muskrat. A nutria is smaller than a beaver but larger than a muskrat; unlike beavers or muskrats, however, it has a round, slightly haired tail. Nutria have large incisors that are yellow to orange-red on the outer surface. The dense grayish underfur is overlaid by long, glossy guard hairs that vary in color from dark brown to yellowish brown. The guard hairs are long and coarse on the back and finer on the side and the belly. The forelegs are small compared with its body size. The forepaws have five toes; four are clawed and the fifth is reduced in size. The claws are used to groom and to excavate roots, rhizomes, and burrows, and are used in feeding. The hind foot consists of four webbed, strongly clawed toes and one unwebbed toe. The hind legs are large compared with the forelegs; consequently, when moving on land, the nutria's front end is lower than the back end and it appears hunched. Nutria are approximately 24 inches long. Their round tail is from 13 to 16 inches long. Males are slightly larger than females; the average weight for a male is about 12-20 pounds, and average weight for a female is approximately 10 to 18 pounds. The ears are small and the eyes are set high on the head.
General Biology, Behavior, and Reproduction In summer, nutria live on the ground in dense vegetation, but at other times of the year they use burrows. Burrows may be those abandoned by other animals such as beavers and muskrats, or they may be dug by nutria. Under-ground burrows are used by individuals or multigenerational family groups. Burrow entrances are usually located in the vegetated banks of natural and human-made waterways, especially those having a slope greater than 45 degrees. Burrows range from a simple, short tunnel with one entrance to complex systems with several tunnels and entrances at different levels. Tunnels are usually 3 to 18 feet long; however, lengths of up to 150 feet have been recorded. Compartments within the tunnel system are used for resting, feeding, escape from predators and the weather, and other activities. These vary in size from small ledges that are only 1 foot across to large family chambers that measure 3 feet across. The floors of these chambers are above the water line and may be covered with plant debris discarded during feeding and shaped into crude nests.
In addition to using nests and burrows, nutria often build flattened circular platforms of vegetation in shallow water. Constructed of coarse emergent vegetation, these platforms are used for feeding, loafing, grooming, birthing, and escape, and are often misidentified as muskrat houses. Initially, platforms may be relatively low and inconspicuous; however, as vegetation accumulates, some may attain a height of 3 feet.
Nutria tend to be nocturnal, with the start and end of activity periods coinciding with sunset and sunrise, respectively. Peak activity occurs near midnight. When food is abundant, nutria rest and groom during the day and feed at night; when food is limited, daytime feeding increases. Individuals occasionally may be observed swimming, feeding, basking in the sun, or walking along a pond bank during the daylight hours, especially when nighttime temperatures are below freezing.
Nutrias are sensitive to low temperatures, with mortality attaining 80-90% following a few days of subfreezing temperatures. Cold winter temperatures are believed to be the main limiting factor preventing nutria from becoming established in much of eastern Oregon and at high elevations in western Oregon. Nutria generally occupy a small area throughout their lives. Daily cruising distances for most nutria are less than 600 feet, although some individuals may travel much farther. Nutria move most in winter, due to an increased demand for food. Adults usually move farther than young. Seasonal migration of nutria may also occur. Nutria living in some agricultural areas move in from marshes and swamps when crops are planted and leave after the crops are harvested.
Nutria have relatively poor eyesight and sense danger primarily by hearing. They occasionally test the air for scent. Although they appear to be clumsy on land, they can move with surprising speed when disturbed. When frightened, nutria head for water and either swim underwater to protective cover or stay submerged near the bottom for several minutes. Nutria's nose and mouth are valvular (can be closed to prevent entry of water), and their swimming abilities are comparable to that of muskrat and beaver. During pursuit underwater, nutrias can see and will take evasive action to avoid capture.
Reproduction: Nutria appear to breed throughout the year. Females sometimes give birth to their first litter when they themselves are only 8 or 9 months old. Each adult female produces two or three litters a year. The number of young per litter ranges from 2 to 11 and averages about 5. Gestation: requires 127 to 135 days. Development: At birth the young are fully furred, and their eyes are open; they are able to move about and feed upon green vegetation, and are able to swim within a few hours. The female mammary glands are located along the sides of the back, enabling the young to nurse while the mother is in the water. Weaning occurs at seven or eight weeks but the young may remain in the same burrow with the parents, enlarging the den for additional living space to accommodate families of their own.
Life Span: In captivity nutria have lived as long as 12 years, but the life span in the wild is probably considerable less.
Predators: Fox, bobcat, coyote, otter and human are among those which prey on adults, while mink, weasel, and great horned owl take some of the younger animals. Range Nutria are well established in the lowland areas of western Oregon and are scattered along several stream systems in the central and northeastern part of the state. Wild nutria were first reported in Oregon during the 1930s, including colonies along the Nestucca, Columbia, and Willamette Rivers in western Oregon, and the Umatilla and Grande Ronde Rivers east of the Cascades.
Habitat Nutria are semiaquatic, bank dwellers, thus usually occur in or adjacent to rivers, lakes, sloughs, marshes, ponds, and temporarily flooded fields. Areas supporting both an abundant supply of succulent vegetation and freshwater is required. Although mild temperatures are preferred, some animals in south Argentina and Chile thrive in cold climates and those colonies in eastern Oregon appear to have adapted to low winter temperatures. Muddy banks are preferred for homesites. The burrow entrance is located at the waterline and is connected by tunnel to an enlarged den well above the water level.
Food Habits Nutrias' natural food consists almost entirely of aquatic and semiaquatic vegetation (including grasses, rushes, sedges, cattails, etc). Nutria are especially fond of alfalfa, clover, root crops, and garden produce (cabbage, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc).
Damage Nutria construct burrows in banks of rivers, sloughs, and ponds, sometimes causing considerable erosion. Burrowing is a commonly reported damage caused by nutria. Burrows can weaken roadbeds, stream banks, dams, and dikes, which may collapse when the soil is saturated by rain or high water. Rain action can wash out and enlarge collapsed burrows and compounds the damage.
Nutria depredation on crops is also well documented. Crops that have been damaged include corn, sugar and table beets, alfalfa, wheat, barley, oats, various melons, and a variety of vegetables from home gardens and truck farms. Nutria girdle fruit, nut, deciduous and coniferous forest trees, and ornamental shrubs. They dig up lawns when feeding on the tender roots and shoots of sod grasses.
At high densities and under certain adverse environmental conditions, foraging nutria can also significantly impact natural plant communities. Overutilization of emergent marsh plants can damage stands of desirable vegetation used by other wildlife. Nutria are aggressive competitors with the native muskrat which is smaller. Muskrats have been largely eliminated or greatly reduced where nutria have become established.
Legal Status In Oregon, nutria are classified as unprotected Nongame Wildlife (OAR 635-044-0132). As unprotected wildlife nutria may be trapped (cannot be relocated) or shot. No license is needed for a landowner to control nutria on his/her own property. Most cities have restrictions on leg-hold trapping or the discharge of firearms within their city limits--live trapping is usually the main population control measure inside the city limits.
Exclusion Since nutria are usually found in waterways, there is often an unlimited supply of replacement animals upstream and downstream from where the damage is occuring. Rapid immigration coupled with a high reproductive rate makes population control a "high effort" method of damage control and often ineffective. Exclusion is often the best long term solution to nutria damage. Most commonly used methods include:
Low woven-wire fences (about 3 feet) with an apron buried at least 6 inches have been used effectively to exclude nutria from home gardens and lawns.
Electric wire barriers have also been used to exclude nutria where vegetation can be controlled to keep it from shorting the wires. Usually one wire 6 inches off the ground will be effective.
Welded-wire cylinders around individual plants are often used where only a few plants need to be protected.
Sheet metal shields can be used to prevent gnawing damage to wooden structures or trees.
Habitat Considerations In creating dikes and drainage ditches it is often important to consider nutria damage and the maintenance that can be required. Nutria like steeply sloped banks next to relatively deep water for den sites. Dikes and drainage ditches designed with gradual slopes will be much less attractive as den sites and require much less if any nutria damage maintenance.
Crops and gardens located close to water will be more attractive to nutria than those further from water. If you have a choice of where to locate your garden, consider nutria damage. Natural vegetation buffers next to water bodies can provide feeding areas and reduce the attractiveness of vegetation further from the water. Hazing Nutria are wary creatures and will try to escape when threatened. Loud noises, high-pressure water sprays, and other types of harassment have been used to scare nutria from lawns and golf courses. The success of this type of control is usually short-lived and problem animals soon return, consequently, hazing is usually not an effective control technique. Large aggressive dogs are often persistant and effective at 'hazing" nutria out of back yards. Small dogs are often intimidated by bold nutria.
Repellents No chemical repellents for nutria are currently registered.
Trapping Nutria are easily captured in live traps. Bait live traps with sweet potatoes or carrots and place them along active trails or wherever nutria or their sign are seen. A small amount of bait leading to the entrance of the live trap will increase capture success. When cornered or captured, nutria are aggressive and can inflict serious injury to pets and humans. Extreme care should be taken when handling captured nutria.

Wooden Bowl

Last fall, near where my shelter is, there was a crew that came by and trimmed up a large amount of limbs from the power lines. I was very excited to be able to have some good quality wood to work with. I grabbed several large pieces to work on at a later time. Here is my attempt to make a bowl using fire as a main tool for the carving.

I learned that my eye were bigger than my need for the project. I spent hours with a saw and

chisel getting the chuck of wood small enough to work with.

I also made a wooding pipe to be able to focus my breath on the coals. This way I could really get the spots I wanted burnt really hot.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Scrap leather

I recently was given some left over elk leather from my older brother. So far I have been able to make a few small projects, but I have been having just as much fun using up the really small stuff. I have been making rope out of some very suprizingly small pieces. In this picture I only used the outside pieces after they were trimmed up a bit.

Hopefully the quarter gives you an idea of the size pieces I am working with.

This is from the the left piece in the picture above. I was amazed that I was able to get over four feet of cord from such a small piece of leather.

I might have an entry focusing on just making cordage (rope) from natural matieral, but for now here is the start of my rope.

This is a very easy skill to learn but not so easy to try and photograph. The basic movement is called a 'reverse wrap'. The bottome cord is twisted away from the person making the rope. Then it comes back over the top cord toward the person's body. Then ofcourse repeat on the now bottome cord.

Here are my finished pieces of rope. I could splice them together to make one longer rope if I wanted. So don't throw away any leather after a bigger project. Everything can be used.