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As the wheel of seasons change we find ourselves moving into "The Time of Mudjekeewis, the Spirit Keeper of the West." Mudjekeewis, the Father of all the Winds, provides a home for the thunder beings.
Now is the time of the Harvest. This season comes with the colors of blue and black. It is the time of twilight, that magical time of day between light and dark. The time of dusk.
On the day of the Autumn Equinox, We will spend the early part of the day cooking and preparing for the Harvest Celebration. We will set an Altar of fruits, vegetables and brightly colored leaves and then we will light candles of brown, gold, orange, blue and black. The candles will burn all night in gratitude of all we have received from the season past. The next morning, the bounty of our Harvest Altar will be placed in the woods as our give-away back to the Earth and "all our relations."
We will visit our Earth Mound. The Earth Mound is an Altar made of earth that holds prayers and gifts for each season. Over the years more earth is added as we come togther in community, each bringing to the mound our heartfelt gratitude for life and the changing season. We have a large stone that sits in the direction of the season. This stone is moved clockwise to the new position each Solstice and Equinox. We sing songs of the season past and songs of the new season.
The Earth Mound is round in honor of Turtle Island, like the turtle's back, and the stone represents her head. It is our altar to Mother Earth. We thank her for carrying us on her back and providing for us and our needs. As we move her head to the new seasonal position she looks out from her sacred place to watch over us and "all our relations."
We will come together to sweat and pray at dusk. It is during this time of life that people who have been given a vision know themselves well enough to be ready to share the lessons of their vision. In our Lodge we will start our prayers in the South to honor the season past. As we move to the West, we will seek the guidance of Mudjekeewis to help us aspire to maturity. We will pray for strength, adaptability, responsibility, teachings, leadership and power. We will ask for help in discerning our purpose in life and then pray for help to fulfill that purpose.
When we reach a level of maturity we need to go beyond ourselves and concern ourselves about the welfare of others. We need to use our abilities for the good of the people.
It is at this time that we pray for the power of Mudjekeewis to help us serve..... to serve with strength, courage, grace and great ability. Mudjekeewis brings healing to the spiritual level....healing to all that we consider to be sacred. Our Lodge will end with gratitude and thanksgiving for this knowing.
We will conclude our day of celebration by preparing "spirit plate" and placing it on the Earth Mound and then we will partake of the feast from the bounty of our harvest. We will eat, laugh, tell stories of the summer months and share our plans for the fall.
When the kitchen is cleaned and all is made ready for the next day, we will sit in circle and smoke our pipes before retiring for the night.