Our exploration continued yesterday at Bear Spirit Mountain.
I feel a little bit behind in my quest to explore our sacred mountain because of the long, cold and very wet winter we experienced last winter. And, of course more rain is in the forecast for today and tomorrow.
However, Ingrid and I spent a very productive day searching both sides of our mountain for more evidence of what my Ancestors had left us. We were not disappointed.
We had a little extra pep in our step because we were also looking at certain properties because we have an opportunity of a lifetime recently presented to us. In the past week one of our friends approached me and told me that she had read my book. Actually, she told me that she has read through it four times now. Of course, I am extremely flattered as an author that anyone would do this.
I know you have all heard me say that part of my mission in life regarding Bear Spirit Mountain is to tell my Ancestors story. Whether I am giving a lecture, greeting people at book signings, through my website, and the story I wrote in my first book I hope to make people understand how incredible these people were/are. This incredible lady received this message. She heard their voices speak to her and with her incredible compassion, love and appreciation for my Ancestors and their sacred mountain she has agreed to help add to our current property inventory that is being placed in a protective trust by purchasing additional properties that have archaeological and cultural significance near ours. Those properties will also be added to the protective trust and never be developed.
Ingrid & I cannot express in words how appreciative we are to this lady. I will keep her identity confidential at this time because she is not about being patted on the back. She is humble and is doing this from her heart to protect this treasure. There are other things that she is doing as well with her resources to help our efforts to take the greatest care of our sites that I won't mention. But, just know that she doesn't have to spend one dime or give any of her time and yet she has poured out her love and her heart to Bear Spirit Mountain Ceremonial and burial site. From our heart to yours generous lady, thank you. From my Ancestors, thank you. From all Native peoples who you are showing your love to by protecting their cultural heritage and reminding them how special their Ancestors are and they too are today, thank you. From my people the Cherokee (Tsalagi) thank you, or "Wado." And from the great Shawnee nation who's people walked these lands for hundreds, maybe thousands of years as part of their territory, "Niyaawe." All of us love and appreciate what you are doing for our beloved sacred mountain.
In acquiring additional properties I have targeted a few that have extreme importance based on the types and numbers of structures on them. These properties we were visiting yesterday was to prioritize those that need saving first. Not all of these properties are currently for sale and will require some persuading of the current owners. But, I know the Ancestors will speak to them and convince them to do so. This is far greater than us. It is much bigger than us and it is all part of a plan. We are simply acting on the Ancestors behalf to protect this site. It is obvious to me as well the the Creator deems this site as very important and is directing the Ancestors to protect it. Your prayers are greatly appreciated to help us fulfill this mission.
As Ingrid and I arrived to visit multiple properties the first one we came to we decided to walk a cleared power line, or what we call a "cut." We weren't sure how far the property we were visiting that is for sale extended so we walked a distance of what we felt was just beyond it. As we walked, there was no clear place we wanted to enter the forest from the cut, so we walked until we saw this in the power line cut itself. See below.
There is no mistaking what lied in front of us. It was just strange to see one out in the open in a cleared area instead of inside the forest. It is a burial cairn. Rock mound. And just as we recorded and photographed it I immediately heard voices telling me to look over here. They were calling out to us. As we looked to our left just inside the tree line we saw another. And then another. And then we saw multiple mounds. And finally we finished counting at thirty. This was what I call a "cairn, or mound cluster." This is a common pattern on this mountain. You can walk for long stretches and see nothing. And then come across clusters of mounds that can number in the dozens.
Perhaps at one time this entire mountain was one continuous cluster of burial cairns for that stretched for five miles. If so, the number of cairns here would have reached over a thousand. In the last few hundred years people have dismantled dozens, probably hundreds of these rock mounds for agriculture (field clearing), and lot clearing for new homes. Another thing I see a lot on this mountain is the "re-purposing" of these stones from burial mounds for small stacked rock walls that line their driveways, or for landscaping for their gardens or flower beds.
We had just discovered for the first time this new cluster and with these rock mounds we easily total over three hundred recorded burial cairns so far on this mountain. It was indeed a sacred mountain that was used for religious ceremony and burials for hundreds of years or more based on the numbers of burial cairns, rock carvings/paintings and stone structures. You could not build something on this scale in a matter of decades. It was a multi generational effort of site construction that culminated in a pilgrimage site that was in continuous use for over a thousand years before it was eventually abandoned. That is until I discovered what its purpose was and today it is used in the same manner that my Ancestors used it. Well, at least the ceremonial and spiritual aspects of it. Although, I do plan on being buried on my land in the same manner as my Ancestors. I hope Ingrid will join me there as well.
As we finished up with viewing this lot I saw a few large rocks that caught my eye as potentially having rock art on them. I snapped a few photographs and we proceeded onto our next quest. But before I take you to the next quest, here is a photo of one of those rocks that was at the top of a lady's driveway. You know, a "re-purposed" rock. Except when I processed it I was pleasantly surprised to see this. See below.
Woolly Mammoth Outline Glyph Spit Photo
I imagine this lady has no idea what is on this rock. I will stop and visit her and show her in the near future. She did make a nice choice though to line her driveway. I just love the cute little tail on this glyph.
Ingrid & I visited a few more sites and then we decided to just return to our site where we spent a little time simply relaxing and enjoying being there.
I will leave you with a few more photos of some of the burial mounds we saw yesterday. Until next time.