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 firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge of the Seneca Indian Historical Society, PO Box 2313 Orange Park FL, 32067-2313.