The last few days have been quite eventful at Bear Spirit Mountain.
On Saturday, we had two packs from the Cub Scouts visit us from Centerville, Virginia. When I first met them at a local Liberty market and I saw so many kids running around I knew it was going to be a great opportunity to share our amazing site and teach the kids to respect all things that are part of the American Indian culture. I explained the "ground rules" and these kids did a marvelous job all day of adhering to them.
When you host an event of this magnitude it takes a lot of people to help make it run smoothly. I was so blessed to have Jamie Desmond and Danny Morris, who kept a nice hot fire going on a cold day and helped me during the walking tours point out features of the site. Jason Buckman brought some of his artifacts such as tools and spear points from his site and did a great job interpreting them for the kids. And of course my right hand and soul mate, Ingrid, was there to take care of everything so I could focus on the interpretative information and drumming/singing for the kids. I want to say Wado (thank you) to all our volunteers.
The event planner Tina Kinani (Ulv) did a great job teaching the kids how to make Prayer Sticks and her husband, Usama (Waya), played the role of "paparazzi" by taking some really great photos. And, I must add the parents did a great job of keeping their little balls of energy in line. I have very strict rules there and I did not want to be as being mean or controlling. However, protecting the site is first and foremost and I will do whatever is necessary to do so.
The event went off very well. As a result of the first walking tour we even made a brand new discovery of a "ground cairn" that I had never seen before not far from the Winter Serpent Wall effigy.
As people were starting to leave I heard a voice in my head that simply said to me "well done." I knew this was my Ancestors who were there watching and having their compliment meant worlds to me. I had never hosted an event of this size and although I knew I had their blessing, having their approval meant so much to me. We also ended up selling seven of my books which was a wonderful bonus.
Below are a few photos of the event.
Our next exciting bit of news comes as a result of my wife, Ingrid, calling on an old friend to see if he and his company would be willing to pay us a visit at Bear Spirit Mountain.
Allow me to explain. We know that what we are seeing at our Ceremonial site is some of the oldest and incredible examples of ancient rock art and rock structures anywhere. However the question has to be asked. What are we "not seeing" that is buried underground? Over the last eight thousand years fallen leaves from trees have been building up a compost layer that is several feet deep. The structures we are seeing sometimes are partial. For example the three Winter Serpent Wall effigies I have located are partially buried. We are just seeing the tops of the walls. This also applies at the base of the flat rock cliff walls. When you see the petroglyphs and pictographs it appears when they were carved or painted while they were on their knees. But, as I have stated before this appearance is because of many layers of compost that has buried where they were originally standing. So, I believe there are many more glyphs and possibly tools, etc. waiting to be found. So how do we "see" what is below the earth without wholesale digging? The answer is GPR or "ground penetrating radar" and GRT, or "ground resistance testing."
Knowing the "how" we learn these answers doesn't make it easy though. These tests are expensive and there are few companies with the ability to do them. But leave it to my wife to find someone who not only owns his own company that specializes in this field but find someone that is willing to do it for free. We spoke to Andrew Forrest, PG, of Forrest Environmental Services, Inc. on the phone a few days ago. He is a Geophysicists and he is eager to bring his equipment out to our site and learn what is under the ground there. The implications of this cannot be overstated. We could be standing on village structures or find other cairns buried just a few feet under the surface. I am so excited for Bear Spirit Mountain to learn what other amazing things my Ancestors created there. This is another example of them using Ingrid also to help reveal what they want us to learn about them. They love and appreciate her very much as I do.
I am happy say that the excitement doesn't end there. We have another great person who has volunteered to help us learn more about this site.
Charlie Cornelison is a dear family friend. To see him and his modesty you would never know that he served as a Green Beret in the US Army for over twenty years. During those years he received some amazing training as a navigation expert is using everything nature provides as well as the technology provided to him such as GPS tracking. He is also from Texas and has Apache heritage that he is proud of.
He has agreed to bring some of his personal GPS equipment out to our site. He will mark every single structure we have found to date into a plot on his GPS unit. From there he will take this information and enter into his computer. This will provide a map showing where every structure is. It will take us many hours of walking our thirty acres and marking everything but this map will show us a clear picture of what we know to date.
So why is this important? Many reasons. But one is that I have a theory about the why and the where my Ancestors placed each cairn, each structure. One thing I have learned is they did everything for a specific reason. They didn't just place things randomly. They left us with incredible symbolism at the Winter and Summer Serpent walls and Sun effigies regarding the battle of "good vs evil" and "life vs death." They placed the Winters Serpent Wall effigy and Sun effigy in that exact location so their descendants (all the way to us today) could use it for determining the beginning of Winter Solstice. They were detailed and purpose driven. This is why I believe all the other structures were also "purposely" placed.
My theory is just as in many other future cultures structures were placed to mimic the very stars they were seeing every night. A type of "celestial map" on the ground. They could have been copying the Pleiades star cluster, aka Seven Sisters, or other stars. If this is proven this will be the first ever recorded from a site that is over 12,000 years old in the entire world.
So, as you can see why I am so excited for the future. I also will be walking new ground on our mountain in January exploring and documenting what we find on my neighbors sites.
I know my Ancestors are opening these doors for us to learn more about their culture. They want their story known and they should be very proud of what they accomplished.
Until next time, friends.......