Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Grandmother Twylah

Grandmother Twylah of the Seneca Nation was one of many teachers I was privileged to have in my life, and especially after I died. I hold her in great esteem and respect highly what she accomplished and what she stood for. Her visions are her own. Her predictions of coming disaster (recounted below) are as much an offering of her heritage and the Seneca tradition as they are what she herself believed. Now that she has passed, I feel it only fitting that a memorial to her appear on my blog, and who better to do it than my dear friend Brad Steiger, who was also deeply affected by Grandmother Twylah. To Brad, to Grandmother, to all of you, I say, “Ho.”

Grandmother Twylah, Repositor of Seneca Wisdom, Beloved Medicine Teacher, made her Skywalk on August 21, 2007 A Tribute By Brad Steiger

Sherry and I have just received word from Twylah’s son Bob Nitsch of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge that on August 21, 2007 at 7:12 a.m., “our beloved Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch sang her song and made her Skywalk back to the world beyond the Skydome. The way made clear by Skywoman for all humankind to follow.”

A Celebration to honor Twylah was held at the Crystal River Archeological Site State Park on the North Temple Mound at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Sunday August 26, 2007.

Many of you know that on August 2, 1974, I was adopted by Twylah into the Wolf Clan of the Seneca Tribe. My Seneca name is Hat-yas-swas ( He Who Testifies). At a private ceremony, I was also initiated into the Wolf Clan Medicine Lodge. Twylah was a great teacher to me, and her words and wisdom will always guide me.

In the early 1990s, before the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge moved to Florida, Sherry and I visited Twylah at her home in the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, 30 miles south of Buffalo, New York. Twylah was a direct descendent of the great Seneca chief Red Jacket, a staunch defender of his people’s traditions and a brilliant orator.

Twylah and her family lived in her ancestral home that had been built in 1858 by her great-grandfather Two Guns. She had persevered the original Seneca longhouse from the old Buffalo Creek Reservation, and this was were the teaching lodge meetings were conducted. We spoke often of the tribal legends that tell of other worlds before our own having been destroyed and of people emerging from the destruction that had been visited upon a former civilization on the North American continent. The Seneca prophets say that the world has undergone the traumatic experiences of birth, death, and rebirth six times before--and they predict that all of humanity now stands on the brink of destruction prior to entering the final world in our evolutionary cycle. Grandmother Twylah told us that she foresaw dramatic changes coming to the Earth Mother, and she envisioned great cosmic beings gathering to assist humankind through this terrible time of transition.

"Thunder Beings are truth beings," she said, refering to these powerful entities who offer humans their assistance. "Their teachings are of truth, and they are filled with love. In these final days, it is important to think of unconditional love and not to permit anything to interfere." Twylah believed that the Thunder Beings are now speaking to everyone, "but only the awakened Thunder People are listening."

In order to hear the Thunder Beings, she gave firm advice: "Go within...go within...go within. Go within to your vital core."

Twylah warned that we cannot stop the coming Earth changes, but we can prepare for them. “All the great Medicine priests are saying that another time of purification and cleansing has rolled around on the great cosmic calendar. We are once again about to enter a time of earthquakes, vulcanisms, and dramatic Earth changes.

"It is now time that people better get on their horses and decide which direction they're going,” she told us. “The important thing will be whether or not they will be able to stand in their truth. Those who stand in their truth will eat whatever Mother Nature provides--and it will be roots, bark, and seeds. Before this time ends, we will be crawling on our bellies--but we will be surviving."

Twylah said that the "great fires" have already begun burning. "The Middle East set the flames going. The planet is warming up; the ice is melting, so much land is going to go under.

"The Earth Mother is changing her garments. She's going to put on some new stuff. She is going to be dancing around. And it's about time. She's sick and tired of the way she's been treated."

Twylah repeated the importance of standing in one's truth during the troubled times ahead: "Supposing right at this moment the Earth began to quake and up in the sky world there would be thunder and lightning and so much noise that we couldn't think. The best thing that we could do for our survival would be to stand on our truth. To run in panic never accomplishes anything."

Information about Gram Twylah and her life work may be obtained through the e-mail site sihs@comcast.net or mail to Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge of the Seneca Indian Historical Society, PO Box 2313 Orange Park FL, 32067-2313.

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At 5:57 PM, Anonymous joão carlos said...

And.... what is the TRUTH ??

Lots of love and blessings for you,from Portugal.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger PMH said...

That’s a big question, Joao. And I’m not certain quite how you mean it. Truth about what? If you mean the truth of life, then I would say LOVE: it’s as if the primary purpose of being a human being living on the earthplane is to develop the ability to become more forgiving, more patient, more understanding, more committed to making a different in the world, and all of this done with the attitude of knowing that love is at the core of all that is real and worthwhile. And that love must be of self as well as others. If you cannot love yourself, who can you love? It all begins within, not in the sense of egotism or being narcissistic; but, rather, in the sense of honoring and liking self, loving who you are, knowing that in that love you are able to love others and your neighbor as yourself.

Blessings, PMH

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please read the following messasge from the Seneca about so called Grandmother Twila Nitch (Twila Nitsche, Twylah Hurd Nitsc

-----Original Message-----
From: Todd M. Waite
To: longhousehunter@aol.com
Sent: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 2:15 pm
Subject: RE: Tom Netz information - thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!

Twila Nitch was an enrolled Seneca, however our Seneca Nation of Indians, Tribal Council passed a resolution condemning her and her teachings as not indicative of Seneca Culture many years ago. My understanding is that she offered her own unique teachings, a combination of crystals, mysticism and such with a spin of Native philosophy. She offered her classes and certifications for sale to anyone who was willing to ante up her required fee. She essentially operated a “Wannabe Training Program” that many were naive enough to pay for thinking that it somehow made them “Indian”.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger PMH said...

Todd, Grandmother Twila helped thousands of people discover their worth and value. I regarded her gadgets and trinkets as the way she used to pay her expenses and her bills. Income can be and is often an issue with those who teach spiritual truths and serve in a path of helping others to heal. I did not find this of interest to me, nor a distraction. What she taught was worth learning. I have deep and abiding respect for her, and I honor her teachings. One does not have to follow a set line, dogma, or standard to offer what is worth learning. Sometimes following one’s heart is enough, especially when tested by life experiences. Sun Bear, a Chippewa Medicine Man, first introduced me to Grandmother Twila. He stood in praise of her wisdom. Whatever she became in her later years, I cannot speak to. But I can say that during the many years I knew her, she was a treasure and I feel privileged to have known her. Sun Bear himself had many confrontations with Medicine Men of his own and other Nations because of his independence and because he did not follow what the others claimed was the “Indian Way.” His life and the stature of his greatness is ample proof that set “rules” are not necessarily beneficial nor desirable. You find this same situation with Feng Shui practitioners of differing orders, and throughout the entire gamut of spiritual, native, and religious teachings of “truth.” Because of this, learning how to question and be more discerning is necessary. Thank you for your sharing, Todd. I appreciate knowing more about Grandmother Twila and the saga of her life. PMH

At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grandmother Twylah was my first teacher. She wrote this to me 20 years ago, and I will share it with you now to honor her passing.

"Who Am I" ?
'I am all the Sacred attributes an individual can possess to suport unconditional love bonding one's life and growth as an example of Truth....Keeper of the Hills, a Seneca.'

Blessings on your Skywalk "She Whose Voice is carried on the Wind"...Thank you for having faith in me. Aho!

Amara12@netzero.net 12-15-08

At 6:50 PM, Blogger PMH said...

Many times Native Keepers of Wisdom will turn against each other because one doesn’t “do it right.” This is not wisdom. I saw it happen with Sun Bear, and with Grandmother Twylah, and others. True wisdom comes in honoring what is good and helpful and uplifting, what is genuine and from the soul. That is wisdom. Grandmother was very wise. I honor her. PMH

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous LJH / Sweetgrass said...

LJH / Sweetgrass
I first met Twyla in the late 70's through the Penn Yann Historical Society in New York which was sponsoring the creation of the Red Jacket statue in Penn Yann Park, the sculpture, artist was Mike Soles. The statue is still there and sits over looking Kueka Lake.
It was also by chance that I developed a relationship with Twyla from my spending time learning from a Holy Man of the Seneca False Face Society on Onondaga Nation outsideSyracuse, NY . His name was Floyd Doctor, his wife was Rena, he was a full blood Seneca and his wife a full blood Onondaga. Floyd knew Twyla's grandfather and had spent time with him during his days of practicing medicine, they were close friends.
I knew that Twyla had incorporated some of the popular New Age terminology into her teachings and that there were indeed many white people who came to her in their own loss of identify as a worthy human being. I never knew Twyla to live an indulged life or to accrue personal wealth from her teachings. She was left a widow with out means of support and if it had not been for her grandparents she most likely would not have her own home. I would have to say that Twlya did far more good than harm and provided meaning in many peoples life. She once told me that the Seneca Nation Longhouse, was accusing her of being a witch and that she would have to defend herself. She was of course allowed to remain in her home and most likely moved to her son's because the home she lived in could not accommodate the needs of a aging woman. I must admit that the Native American people are those who helped me understand spirituality, I found them to be the most spiritual people I ever encountered. They also guided me in getting closer to the Creator or God or what many call A Higher Power. The Native American Wisdom will not parish from this earth, it will guide us into the future where the world is no longer wild but alive in peace. My blessings go out to Twyla's family, may they be proud to carry on her legacy.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger PMH said...

Thank you soooooooo much for saying what you did. As you know, I took some lessons from Grandmother Twylah and came to respect her deeply. Most of my ties within the Native American community go back to Sun Bear and The Bear Tribe. For many years, our lives entwined. Sun Bear was the first non-verbal teacher I ever had. All he had to do was live, show, move, and I got the full message loud and clear. Perhaps that's because I grew up as if connected to or knowledgeable of Native Americans – which was not true. I never even heard the phrase "Indian" until the third grade in school. Never was exposed. Instead, I grew up "as if I were a Native American" because that worldview and behavior came naturally to me. That way was where I turned when the life around me turned away. Because I had two mothers and five fathers, what was "regular" simply did not apply. I wound up being raised by a Norwegian couple and the Spirit Keepers of Idaho's canyons and deserts. Nature was alive to me – on all dimensions – in every possible way. Plus there was love, from the Sogns (the Norwegian couple). I learned that if a child experiences the kind of love they can understand and respond to by the age of 6 or 7, he or she will have an inner gyroscope that will not fail them for as long as they live. If not, they will have a "hole" in their heart, a missing piece, they will search for throughout life. Interesting how this works out, and how the shamanic or Native American path can ground us and heal our hearts. Many blessings, PMH Atwater


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