EDITOR’S NOTE: Rabbis have long held that the Christian interpretation of the “re’eim” as a “unicorn” is impossible and have opted for the “wild ox associated with Joseph.” In the American Southwest and particularly the Sacred Four Corners area where Joseph-East M’nashe has settled and remained in covenant, this animal is unquestionably the buffalo.
Buffalo horns instrument of covenant
between Native, non-Native ‘Joes’
at East Gate of Sacred Four Corners
WALSENBURG, COLORADO – Starman and Lioneagle lift two buffalo skulls overhead, offer sacred tobacco and pray to Grandfather in the six directions of the Apache star. A shell from one of these buffalo horns will use the hand of Cryingeagle to dip into water, which will pour onto glowing grandfather stones in the darkness of inipi (purification lodge). Thus, untribed Apache descended from still-covenanted East M’nashe are used of Creator and His Creation to begin to “gore” the “thousands of M’nashe and the myriads of thousands of Ephraim” together with the “horns of the re’eim” (Deut 33:17).
Still under the influence of Shabbat Torah study the previous day, Starman and Lioneagle choose a large, 80-pound, five-sided grandfather to represent the Books of Moses. Offering more sacred tobacco – the Apache equivalent of the p’tum ha-ketoret (or incense used in the Jerusalem Temple) the two raise this grandfather in a sacred manner also turning it to the same six directions to which Orthodox Jews wave their Feast of Tabernacles bundles. All present mimic this diligent search for Creator turning toward each direction while praying with sacred tobacco.
‘Rock of Torah,’ Judea-Samaria highlight ‘grandfather council’
The “Rock of Torah” is placed on a cradle of larger diameter cottonwood branches. The elevated cradle, which forms a floor for fire to burn from below and through to heat the grandfathers, is arranged in a sacred manner inside a deep, stepped and circular fire pit.
The 50th grandfather laid atop the rock pile with the Rock at its base, is oddly shaped, Starman notes. Its porous, volcanic and raised 3D contours resemble the outline of the mountains of Judea-Samaria! That is appropriate as well for this inipi (sometimes irreverently called a “sweat lodge).” Rockets fired by Hamas from the Gaza have been striking southern Israel the previous week. Israel is responding with surgical attacks but there have been civilian casualties. It appears that the Middle East is about to explode. The Birthright territories of Joseph are again in the news and blogs. Smiles is half Palestinian. Lioneagle has a son whose Jewish mother lives in southern Israel. A third member of the community has friends in Egypt. And the Torah study the day before taught about the separate and incompatible “le’um” of Jacob with the people Obadiah wrote would be occupying Jacob’s possessions when Jacob would be returned to them: The House of Esau.
The grandfathers are prepared to hold their fiery pre-inipi council within a tipi covered with a skin of thick, peeled cottonwood bark over piles of more kindling and under layers of split cottonwood slabs.
‘I am the re’eim who gores nations together’ – ministering Buffalo spirit
Meanwhile, Cryingeagle positions the buffalo skulls on an altar made of a small mound of earth midway between the fire pit and entrance of the inipi. Shells of the horns fit like sleeves over the two points of each skull. Sage bundles, which have a way of spontaneously igniting depending on the direction of spiritual winds, are stuffed into mouth, nose and ear openings of the skulls. All remember the lodge poured the Sunday after Simhat Torah (the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles), by Running Buffalo when those nostrils did flare with fire: “I am the re’eim who gores the nations together,” the ministering Buffalo spirit explained in inipi, that day.
Between the horns of the buffalo, no longer silent about his identity and role as the “re’eim,” Cryingeagle lays the community’s holy channupah. After the inipi, the Apache community will draw smoke (but not inhale it) from this sacred pipe, wash with it and blow it in the six directions.
A golden eagle named ‘Aaron’ awaits arrival of Condor
Cradling the channupah between the horns of the re’eim is the wing of a golden eagle known before it flew into the World To Come as the priestly, “Aaron.” The wing will later be passed inside the inipi circle allowing all to momentarily take symbolic shelter beneath. “Aaron” will administer buffalo, bear and eagle medicines and as an interceding “tzaddik,” (with one wing in this world and the other in the World To Come), will petition on behalf of Lion relatives and other beasts of the field growing restless in the current drought. Aaron’s wing will wash the two-legged in the lodge with the smoke of sage, cedar and braided sweetgrass. Because these Apache reside at the eastern gateway of the Sacred Four Corners, there is also a special connection the Eagle, Aaron, makes with the Condor commemorated weekly with the smoke of the Azteca medicine from the copal root. And when the heat is especially intense, Aaron will “fly” around the inipi and hear cries of mercy while his wing stirs up the heat and adds to the suffering.
Tenrivers realizes fruit of labors
Jimmy Tenrivers, the first sundancer among these untribed Apache, who started this very inipi in his back yard some 15 years ago, fittingly arrives on this day Torah is honored. The fruit of this spiritual elder crippled in first a car and then a motorcycle accident more than 25 years ago, includes most everyone in the lodge. He was also the first Native American spiritual leader given a sample by an emissary from Jerusalem of the more than 600 pounds of a substance identified as containing 11 of the 14 ingredients that comprise the ancient pitu’um ha-ketoret (incense used in the Jerusalem Temple). The “incense,” was found under 37 feet of fill and stored in pits carved out of bedrock in a cave excavated north of Qumran.
Eighty-year-old Uncle Shorty, a Navy veteran, arrives to take out the grandfathers used the last inipi and clean and sweep the inipi firepit assisted by Cryingeagle’s young son.
‘Unseen Hand’ lends fiery council first spark
Hollowbone, one of the first to attend and promote the Shabbat Torah study at Eldersgate American Indian Council, arrives with others from the community who live near the Sundance site located some 26 miles away and a few thousand feet higher into the Rockies. Finally other drummers and sundancers including Tenrivers‘ son arrive. All watch as an Unseen Hand uses Cryingeagle to lend the fiery council its first spark.
Almost immediately, the flames jump through the carefully prepared tipi … a very good sign. While the grandfathers begin their council of fire, the warrior-society elders, sundancers, singers and drummers and their women and children gather around a father drum left in the care of Cryingeagle by a fellow sundancer.
Drummers sing, chant permutations of Divine Name
The drummers and singers offer sacred tobacco on the drum, painted with the face of a bear. Starman flips his Native Pride cap so the bill faces back of his ears and begins pounding the drum. Soon, a dozen drumsticks, most padded with bear hair, join in a steady beat directed by the Starman’s vertical chops with his free hand. Seven songs are sung. All contain chants permuting Y, H and W consonants with various vowels. Since “remembering” in Torah that this is the Divine Name reflecting Creator’s attribute of Justice tempered with Mercy, these Apache are living evidence of the Covenant of Mercy with Hashem (Grandfather). This day is yet another reminder since of the 50 grandfathers, one will remain in the fire so that 49 “elders,” the number of judgment tempered with mercy, are the fiery teachers today.
Migration research locates East M’nashe at Four Corners
Recent migration research links especially the Navajo and the five nations of the Apache among 38 Athap(b)ascan Language Group nations to the warriors and assimilated Gershonite priests of Israelite East M’nashe. (See reprint of Ancient American magazine article, “Israelite East M’nashe traced to Four Corners,” at www.torah-voice.org/AAcovermarch2011.htm.) If so, East M’nashe was never removed from its covenant . These frontier warrior-priests were exiled 17-23 years before the “House of Israel” residing west of the Jordan River entered their prophesied exile.
The King of the Northern Tribes also paid a tribute to the King of Assyria so that Assyria would not invade west of the Jordan at that time. So the terms of Yizra’el, Lo-ruhamah and Lo-ami, — a scattered seed without mercy disowned by God — in Hosea 1 severing the covenant with the northern House of Israel, apply not at all to East M’nashe as they apply not at all to the Southern Kingdom, the House of Judah. It is possible that the 7,000 from the Northern “House of Israel,” who did not bow their knees to the ba’alim, (pagan gods of wood and stone) about whom Elijah was told, came from his own country and stomping ground: The Gershonite priests of Gilead and warriors of East M’nashe. These Apache evidence they are part of the “preserved of Israel” of Isaiah 49:6-8. Consequently, the spiritual work is one of “restoration” to Torah and “remembrance” of mercies, and not a “new” covenant.
Sundance draws out independent, untribed Apache
Among the House of Joseph, East M’nashe was the most separated and among East M’nashe, the most separated “nation” appears to be untribed Apache who obeyed their prophet, Geronimo. They did not surrender and go onto reservations. Instead these descendants of Geronimo and his chief Membreno warrior, Victorio, fled into the Rockies and eventually mixed with the mountain people. The regathering started when the Sundance was brought to southern Colorado about 12 years ago. The dance has drawn out these independent-minded but unaffiliated and untribed Apache who have reassembled as a people, just as Geronimo prophesied.
Under the banner, “Iglesia de Aztlan,” (assembling of Aztlan), the sundance is also attracting Aztec from the South country. Hopi medicine man Emory Holmes, who gave his blessing to Tenrivers and Lioneagle for the work of hosting elders, said the Aztec are a Hopi clan who instead of returning to their homeland in the north set up another civilization in Mexico and Central America. However, the Aztec literature, songs and dramas are about returning to the promised Aztlan, the Aztec homeland somewhere in the Four Corners area. Coupled with the promise to the Hopi connected with their migrations across Turtle Island, “America” became the promised homeland of the Latino descendants of the Hopi long before anything “American” existed.
Many believe this will be the arrival of the Condor to unite with the Eagle, an ancient Native prophecy. Another Oglalah Sioux prophecy states “just before great fires will sweep the Plains, that a place will be prepared in the mountains (Rockies) for elders to come from which to steward the healing of the land.” Wilson, a sort of renegade Oglalah medicine man who rode a Harley, spent his life seeking Grandfather about this place for the elders. The “Buffaloman” as he was known to his friends before his death in 2007 wound up living near Walsenburg, Co., the eastern gateway of the Sacred Four Corners. Traditionally, elders meet in eastern precincts, explaining why the revelation of the horns of the re’eim may have been given to these particular Eastern Gate Apache. Many of them also know they are being prepared to host elders.
Covenant between Creation, humanity under way in Native inipi
The judgment of the Ten Tribes (sans East M’nashe) written in Hosea 1 is in part remedied with the covenant outlined in Hosea 2:18-20. This covenant with “the beasts of the field, the birds of the air and the creeping things on the earth and to end the sword, bow and violence in the earth,” is weekly celebrated/accommodated in the Native American inipi. It is “evidenced” with the suffering that comes when the horns of the re’eim “gore” or dip into water and pour onto the glowing grandfathers. This and the preparation of the fire are the only human hands in this sacred ceremony – given to a people whose stream of Israeli-priesthood was never cut off and which predates Orthodox Judaism by more than 200 years!
Otherwise, Creation speaks directly through the suffering and inner-reflection that occurs in inipi (which means to look “inside” or “within” one’s spirit). In a pitch-black, steaming womb of Earth framed by 16 sacred willows, the natural and basic elements of fire, water, wind and stone combine to “covenant with” and “humble” human beings. Just what the Good Doctor ordered for Ephraim.
All bow low to the ground before entering inipi and declare, “Hoa (pronounced as a Hebrew furtive patah, “Ah-ho”) mitakuye oyasin,” or “To all of my relations.” This includes the four-legged, winged and other aspects of Creation, free to speak in Native inipi through human beings, the insights communicated from and while suffering.
Judah needs Joseph and Joseph needs a humble Ephraim
Especially in need of humility are the “myriads of thousands of Ephraim,” infamous in the words of the prophet Hosea for their pride and arrogance. It appears that Grandfather has decreed the only family of Joseph never removed from covenant – the descendants of shibboleth-speaking M’nashe who lay claim to the n’zirei Yisrael (preserved of Israel of Isaiah 49:6-8) — to “gore” together Ephraim with sibboleth, M’nassah. Or perhaps the goring is to reconcile Ephraim with (East) M’nashe. If the latter, this covenant would reconcile groups who could loosely be called, “Cowboys” and “Indians.” Regardless, the House of Joseph must get its house together before it can think of reconciling with the House of Judah as per Ezekiel 37 “on the mountains of Israel.”
The House of Judah would do well to recognize and expedite this reconciliation since those mountains (Judea-Samaria), comprise a large part of the Palestinian state proposed according to the pre-1967 borders and usurp the biblical Birthright. And as it all plays out, until that biblical curse is remedied, the economy of the entire world suffers. Sages have long written that to deal with the House of Esau, Judah needs Joseph. It seems now that the world needs Joseph.
Priestly authority indicated with heavy incidence of extra Y in males
Also, in the Four Corners area the incidence of the extra-Y chromosome occurring in indigenous males is 20 to 24 times greater than anywhere else in the world including among population samples that are totally Jewish., although similar large concentrations have recently been located in Africa. This may also be due to the early assimilation of Gershonite priests with East M’nashe warriors. A priestly sect mixed with Joseph and never removed from its covenant should have some spiritual authority and voice in the disposition of the Birthright of Joseph and is certainly deserving of Levitical tithes.
In this inipi, Torah is honored and seeds of prayer are sown and sung with suffering while permuting the Divine Name with the awareness of covenant mercies associated with the Divine Name. From a people never removed from Covenant, but being “restored” to its understanding, this is powerful medicine.
Apache lodge follows Lakota tradition, OK’d by Lakota elder
The prescribed Lakota songs — the lodge is poured by sundancers who follow the Lakota traditions — like Hebrew songs are prayers to these Apache, who will sometimes ad-lib with their ancient Apache lodge songs. These are being revived as Tenrivers, Cryingeagle and Cryingeagle’s daughter — a rising vocalist — learn and teach them to the people. But every lodge opens with the traditional Lakota songs calling to the six directions for Wakhan Tanka (the Sacred Spirit) drummed on bear and elk hides stretched over hollow cottonwood frames. The lodge also has been visited, scrutinized and embraced by a Lakota sundance intercessor who pours his own lodge for Native American Air Force personnel stationed in nearby Colorado Springs.
One of the pipe-loading songs — and the sundance piercing song which Uncle Shorty always adds to his prayers — begin with a series of Yah’s and Hey’s, which invoke the Wah. Hebrew sages have called the Wah, “the ruach ha-Kodesh” (or the Sacred Spirit) in the Divine Name.
Suffering intensifies for community’s prayer
During the third round, when the suffering is probably the most intense, the entire community prays one at a time in order … and silently prays that no one is too long-winded. After each audible prayer the re’eim gores and upwards of 130 degree steam from the grandfathers momentarily kisses all the sufferers, who usually pray for needs of others ahead of themselves. In addition to prescribed Four Directions, Spirit Calling, Prayer and Exit Songs, each round usually includes other songs, each of the four rounds. Each song is short but is sung four times, the suffering growing with each repetition.
Tenrivers prays for the Condor and Eagle to unite and blesses the Torah study and work of Eldersgate. Cryingeagle testifies to the Divine Name and its entitlement to Covenant mercy. Starman petitions for the humility through which blessings can flow. Lioneagle prays for food for his mountain lion brothers who have been spotted foraging in the alleys of Walsenburg. And all give a hearty “Hoa (Ah-ho)” when petition is made for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the future role these Apache may play as Creator’s hand to “gore” together even the Israeli and Palestinian nations. See “Israelis, Palestinians and Apache, Oh My,” at www.torah-voice.org/blog.
Cryingeagle judges from the moans and cries and intensity of prayer the moment when all declare “Aho mitakuyasi” (All my relations) and the flap of the inipi is thrown open. All inside are offered an exit, but none leave. All are offered water, women first, but some refuse. Between rounds the sufferers recline on Unci Makha (Mama Earth), who true to the FEMININE Hebrew noun – adamah – used to describe her, believe Mama to be alive. At the same time these Apache were given the revelation about the re’eim’s identity as the “buffalo,” they learned “the Song of Moses.” There, Mama is one of the two witnesses who carry out the Judgment for not obeying the Torah; the Heavens being the other. But for now, Mama is a refuge between rounds onto Whom the sufferers recline and find temporary relief getting to know Her “intimately.”
‘Hot kisses’ from the Rock of Torah at final goring
Finally the last round when almost all of the strength of the inipi community is drained, all find it in them somehow to sit up as the last grandfathers enters. Starman has saved for the last, the Rock of Torah, which fittingly takes two firemen working together in unison to maneuver on pitchforks into the inipi. The entrance is closed shutting out all light except the glowing grandfathers. It’s five-sided smile is unmistakeable as are its hot kisses as the re’eim gores away at the Sitra Achra (Opposing Side) dividing Joes and Joes and Joes and Jews.
Maggid ben Yoseif
Join our LInkedIn Group discussion at “Eldersgate American Indian Council” on the spiritual, environmental and theological ramifications of the realization of Native American spiritual sovereignty in connection with covenant identity with Israelite East M’nashe.
See also “The Heavenly Sign for Which the World Awaits,” at www.torah-voice.org/pleiadesstarcluster.htm which parallels the “horns of the re’eim” with a recorded change at the time of the flood of Noach, in the star-cluster, “Pleiades” that could right itself and form a Cocav David (Star of David). If this should occur, the cluster forming the six-pointed star would have a blue hue in the night sky. Did Jesus of Nazareth refer to this as “the sign of the coming of the son of man … as in the days of Noach?” Is this the awaited Hopi “blue star” to end the Hopi religion?
Also, the exact words of this prophecy are closely guarded but the “Constellation of the White Buffalo” draws a White Buffalo comprising a shoulder (which pivots the horns) ALSO from the Pleiades, a backbone from Orion’s belt and the tail from Sirius.
Finally, if any spiritual elders, medicine people, chieftains — or spiritual elders of Ephraim would like to visit our Torah study and/or inipi, please contact Eldersgate AIC at the contact information above.