Program 103: Health and Healing

Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Judy Bluehorse Skelton

The Fall of the Four Seasons

with Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Arlie Neskahi:
This is Wisdom of the Elders.

Fall is a time of slowing – a time for reflecting on the fullness of days past, according to Judy Bluehorse Skelton.

Judy Bluehorse Skelton:
And in the fall, some seeds, the fruits, as they come into full bearing, is the time to, to gather them. When the energy starts to move back into the root, if you’re gathering energy or medicine, if you’re gathering plants for root medicine, you might be digging in late fall, or, some do that in early spring.

And then we move into fall. We move to the west, to the dusk, or sunset time of day. This is the direction of maturity, the adult. It’s a slowing down. It’s a letting go. It’s a time when we accept some things will die, whether it’s an idea or a belief that we have held, whether it’s a dream that we gave birth to in spring or in the spring of our life and has come to full fruition. And sometimes it’s hard to let go of those. We get very attached. We don’t want to see it give way. And yet, if we don’t give way, then we miss the gift of a new vision, giving birth to something new in the following winter and spring.

If you look at a society like the American society, the mainstream society, you can guess which direction, or which season, as a culture, mainstream society likes to stay in. It’s summer! Youth. It’s “Let’s stay active. Let’s stay youthful, let’s stay young.” Those are all good things. However! We miss the gift of maturity, we miss the gift of contemplation, reflection. We miss the gifts of moving into the uh, role of being of service. We miss the gifts of letting go, of releasing, letting things move on.

Music:
Burning Sky
Marilyn’s Waltz
Blood of the Land
Capitol Records

And so we kind of get stuck as a society. You can see it in the youth culture. As a country, there’s a certain immaturity. We stay caught up in emotional passions. We don’t mature into the wise elder. And to mature and grow and become the wise elder means we have to move through the west, to come to the north and dream again! And begin all over again, with fresh vision, fresh inspiration, new knowledge and things to share when spring comes again.

When the leaves fall from the trees, things begin to go underground, slow down, begin to let go. I think fall is the hardest season for the modern culture, the modern society, to move into gracefully because it means letting go of the dreams that were not fulfilled during that summer, letting go of things in our life that may not be working for us any longer. It’s the time to look within, to reflect and to contemplate where we are and to contemplate our lives, our actions, our inactions. It’s the time when things begin to die. There is a harvest time. The harvest, it’s when we reap the things we’ve sown. When we look and evaluate the things that we have sown and what we’re reaping, it can be hard. It can also be beautiful, but oftentimes it changes us.

And so the fall, with all the beauty of the falling leaves and the turning of the colors. I think the plant world reminds us that it’s our opportunity to let go. And know that, as some part of us dies, that a new part will be born in the spring. If we’re not willing to let some part of us die, old patterns, or old behavior, then we can never fully grow into the potential that we were born with.

Music:
Burning Sky
Marilyn’s Waltz
Blood of the Land
Capitol Records

And so fall, dusk, sunset, turning to the west, is an important part of coming into our full maturity.

The Cherokee tradition, we don’t become an adult, we don’t become full maturity until 51. I think part of that is based on the life span. It used to be 120 – yes, 120. I had an opportunity to hear Deepak Chopra speak six or seven years ago. And he is East Indian, a doctor living now here in the United States. And he was speaking how his culture said in your 51st or 52nd year, you become fully mature. And I had never heard that except from the Cherokee. And he went on to say that the life span of the ancestors was 130 years, and that one lived one’s life and did the prayers, followed the ceremonies, ate the proper foods, and a life expectancy of 130 was not unusual.

Music:
Burning Sky
Marilyn’s Waltz
Blood of the Land
Capitol Records

Fall is the time of coming into service. It’s when, as adults, we’ve raised our families and now we look within and decide how we can serve the larger community, how we’re going to share our gifts for the second half of our life. So it can be a very exciting time, it can be a very powerful time because other energies start to come up and move, and because we have more experience and knowledge at that age, we’re able to use that powerful energy in a very good way, a conscious way. We can choose how we’re going to share all that we have to give in the best way we can.

Music:
Burning Sky
Marilyn’s Waltz
Blood of the Land
Capitol Records

With each breath, with each step, in each moment, may we all create beauty. Osadadu.

Neskahi:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton teaches herbal medicine at conferences and workshops in Portland, Oregon.