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Earthquake Watch August 2015 ‘The Saturn 13° Cycle’ and NBC gives a Hint?

Three important planetary alignments the first week of August, which include the Venus-Jupiter conjunction could foreshadow a major earthquake threat during August 3-7.

Mission Galactic Freedom


Three important planetary alignments the first week of August, which include the Venus-Jupiter conjunction could foreshadow a major earthquake threat during August 3-7.

Using the 13 Degree cycle of Saturn highlight August for a Magnitude 8 Earthquake.

But it is not only the planetary alignments, there is much more to expect and to see during the month of August.

Below a short overview: (See first video).

August Perseids meteor shower peaks just after midnight on a moonless mid-august night it should put on a great show this year.

Look towards the familiar constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus in the Northeast. The best watching hour is 1 a.m. Pacific Time on the morning of August 13. You might see 50 up to 100 meteors per hour. You can see Perseid meteors every night from late July through August 24th.

The supermoon is a full moon, coming on August 29, 2015! A supermoon…

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GARTH BROOKS: What on Earth is a “Capricorn?”

By Lynn Bootes

Tulsa has been captivated by the return of Garth Brooks to the stage after a twelve-year “retirement” devoted to child-raising. His show in the BOK Center (which he helped to create) sold out instantly in November and was extended to a total of 7 shows, January 9-18, 2015. If you live in Tulsa, you either have attended, will attend, or know several people who have done so. He is about to surpass Elvis in the number of songs sold, quite a record. So astrologically speaking, what’s with this guy? Garth was born Feb 7, 1962, at 1:07 pm, in Tulsa, according to a verbal report given by him to an astrologer.

His Vedic chart looks like this:Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.25.56 AM

You don’t have to be an expert to notice that 7 planets appear all together in one box, the 9th house. The sign here is Capricorn. Yes, it is very unusual to have so many planets in just one sign! He has Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the South Node of the Moon, Ketu, all together. Only the Moon in Pisces, the Rising sign of Taurus, and the North Node, Rahu in Cancer, are not in Capricorn. (Note this is in the traditional sidereal zodiac based on where the constellations actually appear in the sky. In popular Sun-sign astrology all these planets are in Aquarius).

Capricorn is strong, serious, hard-working, practical and loyal, and loves to be the executive. One source from his college days playing clubs at OSU in Stillwater said, he might not have been the best musician in the clubs but he was by far the most hard-working. Behind the down-home humble image of the Oklahoman and family man is an extremely astute businessman, and in fact his college degree was in marketing and he recently acquired an MBA from his alma mater.

The sign on the eastern horizon when he was born is Taurus, another down-to-earth practical sign. Like many Taurus rising natives, he has a solid build and great endurance. He gets his musical talent partly from his Moon sign being Pisces, so he can relate to sentiment and he enjoys being able to be the benefactor of those in need. But all those planets in Capricorn dominate: they are in the part of the chart called the 9th house, the house which shows how we relate to the values of our society and our culture. A 9th house dominant person is called to travel, to teach, or to express to others the values he or she believes in. Garth really believes in the down-to-earth values of the Heartland and expresses this in song.

Have you ever wondered what is a Capricorn, anyway? I’ve read a lot of mythology and I can guarantee you, outside of astrology, you have never met a Capricorn! The origin of the 12 zodiac signs is from ancient Mesopotamia – very old indeed. In India the name of this sign is Makara, which means crocodile or sea monster. I have a much easier time visualizing a crocodile swimming the marshes of ancient Mesopotamia, the banks of the Nile, or the swamps of India, and as we know from all those TV shows, crocodiles are even to day a force to be reckoned with – an apex predator which has outlasted the dinosaurs and who knows how many other species, who is patient and strong and determined, protective of their young, admirable but feared. I think the Greeks had trouble thinking of a word to translate the crocodile and ended up with Capricorn. So what animal is Capricorn in Oklahoma? I think the gator! But lets put in a word for the giant catfish and sturgeon which I am told inhabit the deepest pools of the Arkansas River. Next time you go noodling for catfish or visit the Oklahoma Aquarium, pause for a moment to give respect to the Capricorns/Makaras among us!

You can find out your dominant zodiac signs and life purpose with a Vedic birth chart reading at Peace of Mind Bookstore. I will be there Saturday afternoons for the rest of January and all of February from 1-5 pm, and am available by appointment at other times.

Jan 15, 2015

Planetary Weather January 2015

Planetary weather for January, 2015.

Brrr!! I hop you all enjoyed your holiday break. Like me you are no doubt looking forward to warmer weather in Tulsa. If there are any clear nights you can enjoy the full Moon on January 4. Look for Jupiter in the night sky all month, but in particular look for Jupiter near the Moon on January 5 – in fact this entire first weekend of January it will be the brightest object other than the Moon in the night sky. The next new Moon is January 22 in sidereal Capricorn – we can expect the coldest weather of the season around then. Time for quiet and study. For thousands of years astrologers have considered deep winter the time when the planet Saturn is the strongest influence, but while we can acquire deepest insights at this time we have to work to maintain vitality. The counterpoint to Saturn is the joyous radiant energy of the Sun. Be sure to get outside if there is sunshine, if only for a five minute break! A brightly lit corner in your home, firelight or candlelight, warm spicy drinks like cider or spice tea, and cheerful company all are natural remedies which remind of us the Sun and its warmth.

I have been writing articles for AstroLogic, an on-line subscription magazine on Vedic astrology. Every month there is an astro-biography of a notable person – this month I celebrate Robin Williams. I’ve attached a portion of the article for your enjoyment. You may locate the journal at


By Lynn Bootes

Copyright on file.

Birth Data: July 21, 1951, at 1:34 pm, in Chicago, Illinois, AA data from a birth certificate in hand, cites collector Wilsons.

The life of a humorist is often enough shadowed by pain. For Robin Williams, known for his hilarious depiction of the alien Mork in the television sitcom “Mork and Mindy,” as the cross-dressing nanny in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and lastly as the museum replica of Theodore Roosevelt come to life in the “Night at the Museum” movies, the pain gave his comic depictions a depth that belied the silliness. In a career which spanned four decades he played a huge range of serious roles besides. His suicide by hanging in August, 2013 shocked and saddened the public and brought attention to the issue of the suffering of those with chronic mental illness and early dementia. Only after his death did the public become aware of the full extent of his philanthropic efforts and more important, the personal support and encouragement given to fellow artists, particularly Christopher Reeve.


Libra rising people generally have a refined nature and a motivation to interact socially and express themselves artistically. Ruled by Venus, the desire nature tends to be strong. For Williams, the ruling planet Venus is in the 11th house of enjoyment and gains, foretelling the ability to express himself in public and gain from his artistic ability. But Venus is EXACTLY conjunct to Ketu, the South Node of the Moon – only 20 minutes difference between the two. If Ketu were an actual planet, the sages would call this a “planetary war,” in which one planet overwhelms the function of the other often with difficult results. Ketu is a shadow planet and cannot engage in planetary war, but such a close connection with Venus implies that Williams was constantly pushing outside the usual emotional boundaries and norms. People who saw him perform live frequently were reduced to a state of helpless exhaustion from laughter such that no comedian could ever follow him in an act. It seemed as though when he was on stage a torrent of imagination was released. Venus and Ketu is in Leo, not the most conducive to personal happiness but indicating someone who loves being on stage. Indeed throughout his life when he suffered from bouts of depression, he coped best by going back to stand-up comedy: he called it his therapy. Venus and Ketu together can also speak of a yearning for love and relationship which is not fulfilled; even though he had several marriages, children who loved him and numerous friends, to many observers he never recovered from the damage of a lonely childhood and the endless quest to engage the attention of his mother with his comedy.

He was the only son of a wealthy 46 year old Ford Motor Company executive and a fashion model with roots in Mississippi upper class society, who spent his early childhood in Lake Forest, a wealthy suburb of Chicago. His childhood was a lonely one, as an only child in a large mansion from which his parents were often absent, busy with their lives. He recalled spending countless hours dreaming up imaginary stories acted out with his large collection of toys, including over 2,000 toy soldiers, an image which brings to mind the hilarious toy soldier characters in “Night at the Museum.” Biographer Emily Herbert describes him as a “shy, plump, melacholic and quiet.”


I think this is a rather accurate birth time for several reasons. First, the lagna and lagna ruler describe him well. Second, he was born in a hospital in Chicago in a year when progressive physicians were beginning to pay close attention to resuscitating newborn infants using the methods of Dr. Virginia Apgar, and therefore they recorded birth times from the moment of emergence. Later in the article, there is confirmation in the timing of the dasha system. But most importantly, the Navamsha chart has this same Venus and Ketu conjunction in the 10th house of career – I can’t think of a better way to express that Williams would become famous for his astounding talent as an artist and performer. The Navamsha chart is calculated by dividing each of the 12 signs into 9 divisions, and then plotting them out in a separate chart. While the rising sign or lagna of the birth chart stays in the same sign for more or less two hours, the Navamsha chart changes lagna about every 13 minutes. When the Navamsha chart is strong and coherent, the astrologer can interpret this as showing the fruits of relationships and of spiritual accomplishment which may be possible in the life whose beginnings are showed in the birth chart. For Williams, in addition to the Venus and Ketu in the 10th house of the Navamsha, the Sun is in Leo in the 9th house, and three planets are in another angle: Rahu, Mars and Mercury in Pisces in the 4th house. Trust me, most of us do not get this much going on in our Navamsha charts!


The other side of the wit and the torrent of talent was Williams’ incredible depth of insight but also of depression. His Moon is in the 5th house which one associates with brilliance of mind and of artistic ability. But it is in Aquarius, a sign ruled by Saturn where depression can linger like a cold blue shadow on the north side of a building in winter. The Moon is only two degrees away from Rahu, the North Node of the Moon, the shadow planet of obsessions and unconscious drives which often enough acts a lot like Saturn in the chart. Does this Moon/Rahu combination reflect his lonely childhood and his desire to somehow attract the attention of his mother through his comic performances? I think it does, and it also hints at a double dose of depression. Saturn, the ruler of his Aquarius Moon, is in the 12th house of the birth chart in Virgo. We associate the 12th house with confinement and solitude, and despite his high public profile Williams was a very private person, who spent many hours running, cycling and walking his dogs. The confinement of substance abuse treatment can be indicated by this 12th house Saturn and Williams was in treatment a number of times, including a month before his death.

Normally we think of Saturn as being a helpful planet for Libra rising, because even though it is a malefic, it rules the favorable 4th and 5th houses for Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius. But for Williams, being born with Saturn in the 12th house, it becomes more problematic, speaking of the depressions he suffered. However, in some respects, having malefic Saturn in a malefic house can be ironically beneficial. He had the self-discipline of Saturn which he used to prepare so meticulously for his comedy routines that they appeared to have been improvised. It can be argued that without his periodic retreats to treatment programs and his habit of solitude, he would have self-destructed at a very young age.

In his Navamsha chart, Moon and Saturn are conjoined and in the very same sign as the birth chart, Aquarius. This is called Vargottama and is another sign of a powerful Navamsha chart and of the power of these two planets. In the Navamsha they are in the 3rd house, which is often active in those who use their bodies for performing music or acting.


In addition to the twelve sign zodiac, Vedic astrology uses the older lunar zodiac of 27 constellations, the Nakshatras, to explore the emotional nature, for timing of life events and for compatibility judgments. Each of the Nakshatras comprises 13 degrees and 20 seconds of longitude, which is close to the distance on average that the Moon changes in position from night to night. Williams’ birth Nakshatra, Shatabhishak, comprises the mid-portion of Aquarius, from 6:40 to 20:00 degrees. Shatabhishak means “the hundred stars,” or the hundred physicians, and is linked with the god of the night sky and of the waters, Varuna. Another connection is to the Crown Chakra. Shatabhishak natives are often deeply intuitive and mystical and have healing abilities, but are often enough wounded themselves and susceptible to depression and addictions. It is ironic that this man who suffered so deeply from depression and committed suicide brought hope and laughter to millions of lives. The ruling planet of Shatabhishak is Rahu, the North Node, and as we have already seen, it is a very strong influence being conjoined with his birth Moon in both the natal and the Navamsha charts.


I am treating these planets as a group as they stand in contrast to the elements above, and because they need to be mentioned before going into some biographical details and looking at how the dasha cycles played out. The Sun sign is Cancer and is a noon-time birth. When the Sun is prominent in the 10th house and strong, the father is often powerful, and the individual is drawn to a public career: both are true of Williams. Having Mercury in the same sign as the Sun improves the mental abilities: despite suffering from some dyslexia and probably ADHD, Williams was able to succeed as a student. As a performer he would astonish people with his ability to pull in allusions to literature, history and philosophy and then instantly follow them with absurd slapstick. Once he was an established comedian, he sought out and performed in dozens of movies as a serious actor. The ruling planet of the Sun in Cancer is the Moon which as we saw above, is in the 5th house. He found himself drawn into a career which was built around the performing arts, a 5th house matter.

Mars is in Gemini in the 9th house of the birth chart; the 9th house indicates the father and fits the description of his father’s business career; the ruling planet of the 9th house is Mercury in the 10th – he is able to use education in his career. The 11th house has Venus and Ketu in Leo as described above, and the ruling planet of the 11th house is the Sun in the 10th. Thus the 10th house planets are flanked by planets whose rulers are in the 10th house, reinforcing the potential success of the career.

Jupiter is in Pisces in the 6th house. Jupiter in Pisces is above all kind and compassionate, a trait demonstrated by Williams in his philanthropy and in his lifelong affiliation with his church of his upbringing, the Episcopal Church. The 6th house shows illness and obstacles, and the primary obstacle of Jupiter in Pisces is excess, consumption of alcohol or drugs or gambling, the inability to set limits. Williams was fortunate that he had Saturn in Virgo in opposition to Jupiter; after his first drug rehabilitation, he was able to remain sober for 20 years, a remarkable accomplishment. Jupiter is also the planet which rules the Navamsha lagna, Sagittarius. In the Navamsha, Jupiter is in the second house of wealth, and in fact, he was for many years among the wealthiest men in the United States as a result of his success in television and movies.

Planetary Weather for November


by Lynn Bootes
Our families have such an impact on our lives, for good or ill! For many people who come through the doors of Peace of Mind Bookstore, Aquarian Age Massage, or the Church of Holistic Science, our families have been a benign influence. But sadly, many others have become estranged and found it better to keep a distance from relatives and one of the reasons we come here is for the company of like-minded individuals. Others of us are in transition, grieving the loss of someone or hoping for the appearance of a potential mate or child in our lives.
Your birth chart can show how your family appears from your unique point of view – in fact a skilled astrologer can often “rectify” an uncertain birth time by asking a few questions about the nature of the parents and siblings. For instance, I recently looked at the birth chart of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was President in the Depression and World War II. His birth time was recorded but was not exact – he could have had one of two different rising signs, but based on his biography, I picked Leo rising. In his chart this rising sign foretold a very strong-willed mother and a wealthy benign father, which was certainly the case. In the very same week, I read the chart of a worthy member of the Tulsa community, who described how his parents were well-off, but cold and distant to him, such that the housekeeper actually raised him. This, too, was reflected in his birth chart. Even in the case of siblings, the experience of family life can differ drastically depending on the rising sign and the year of birth: one child might find themselves pushed to achievement in public life, while another in the family learned to care for others.
Even in youth and young adulthood, when we are the most focused upon personal independence, it pays to be aware of the influence of our families. Even if our experience of family was not good, a horoscope reading can be invaluable for helping identify constructive influences and potential dangers coming up in our lives. After all, the Sun, Moon and stars are but manifestations of the divine order of the universe, which we can turn to for help.

Faith For Absolute Happiness

perfect timing! thanks for sharing!


‘How do i live my life?’ ‘ How can i live the very best life?’- these are fundamental questions and Buddhism supplies a coherent answer to this question. Shakyamuni Buddha, the Great Teacher Tientai and Nichiren Daishonin each set forth a clear response. In particular the conclusions of Shakyamuni and Daishonin are exactly the same.

Moreover based on this conclusion Nichiren Daishonin left behind a concrete ‘TOOL’ that all people can use to become happy. He bestowed the Gohonzon- which is nothing but a “happiness producing device”

Faith is the engine that enables us to persevere in life to the very end. Our Buddhist practice serves as the propulsive force for piercing through the clouds of suffering like a rocket and powerfully ascending higher and higher, without limit, to fly serenely through the sky of happiness.

When we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, hope and strength to always live positively…

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The Clearing

The lock had been busted off the backdoor. That’s how they got in. My uncle had informed us of that the day we gathered at his house to receive the torch of honor he (in lieu of his wife, my Aunt Jo Avis) passed down to us. Our family home is kept in a trust. And now it is my generations turn to uphold the honor and do the work.

I’d forgotten about the lock. It took me a second to adjust, then I walked in.

I wasn’t expecting my reaction. When I had heard of the vandalism I was upset… I was pissed. When I saw it first-hand… I was wrecked. The sense of violation, the senseless act of destruction, leveled me to the floor.

The back porch, where the vandals entered the home, steps up into the kitchen. There was a smashed coffee carafe on the floor and knives scattered about on the countertop. “My granny’s kitchen”…that’s all I could think as I began my tour of the damage.

Then to the dining room. Disaster. Mirrors smashed, my great aunt’s knick-knacks that she hand painted, smashed. Shards of glass were everywhere. The living room was worse. The marauders had taken a large heavy glass bowl and attempted to smash in the TV screens. They failed, but the glass bowl left amber tears of glass scattered over a large swath of the floor. One of the table lamps, a very large ceramic lamp, had been used to smash the window over the sofa. The table where we keep the guest book was wrecked. Pictures, knick-knacks…they were very thorough. Next to that table is the door that leads to the middle bedroom. It had some minor damage; a broken lamp and a couple of ceramic figurines…and as I began my clean-up…a different scene began to emerge. They never touched the other bedrooms.

Due to a miscommunication, I had ended up at the farm alone. The original plan was for the whole family to converge and clean up the remains. I missed out on the conversation of it being rescheduled and didn’t find out until I was half-way up there. I decided to go it alone. Once there, I knew why.

I’ve always had this sixth sense. For as long as I can remember, I have seen spirits. They communicate with me. This extra sensitivity always gave me a strange, quirky personality, and at times this ability has been down-right unnerving. Lucky for me, when I was in my 20’s, I found a place that not only didn’t judge me for this unusual gift, it allowed me to research it, to understand it, and to develop it. I owe this refined version of myself to Peace of Mind Books in Tulsa, OK.

Every person who has been up to our family farm has felt its presence. It is unbelievably peaceful and serene; a haven for us to escape the modern world. Some, like me, have felt another presence…a very old, protective influence. I had never felt it as strong as I did that Saturday when I arrived alone.

The house was eerily quiet as I set about the clean-up. Every other time, when I’m up there, it is with my large and boisterous family. I chalked the mood up to that and started in. But I could feel it. It was a male presence and it was literally hovering over me. I wasn’t scared. Like I said, I have been training and fine tuning my skills and besides…whoever this was…was family.

There is this place…we all do it…where we suspend consciousness. It’s the soft-gaze you see on those statues of Buddha and Krishna. We do it when we are on automatic pilot, when we are just going through the motions and not focusing our intent on what we are doing. While sweeping, I’d lapse into that place. And that’s when I’d hear him. “You got this, kid.” It wasn’t my own voice in my head. But I did know whose it was. It was my Granny’s brother, Uncle Ernie. When Grandpa Gallop died in the 50’s, he moved in with her and lived there until he died in the early 70’s My memories of him are very blurry. I was just a baby, but I do have hazy impressions of going to town with him, my two older sisters, and our cousin, Melissa. When I realized he was there with me, I cried. It was his sadness I was feeling…and his helplessness. He was Granny’s protector and felt guilty that he had failed. So we both had ourselves a moment, then got back to work.

I had bought a large bundle of white sage when I left work Friday. I knew the place would need to be smudged after the debris was cleared, and that’s just what I did. I walked the property to get a sense of whether they had violated any other buildings, walked down to the pond and meditated on the east bank that looks west back towards the house. It was perfection. Once I had made my preparations, I went back to do the real cleaning.

I lit my bundle and started at the front gate. I walked counter-clockwise around the property then came to the house. I entered the same way they had…through the back and drove all the energy forward and out the opened windows and doors. I concentrated more on the areas of specific damage…the smoke was thick and heavy. Once finished, I grabbed my keys and went to town. I would let the smoke settle while I was gone.

An hour later, I entered again. The smell of sage was strong, but the energy did indeed feel lighter. I sat down in the velvet armchair that faces the console TV to relax and just tune in to the energy. I began to pray, asking my ancestors’ blessing. And that’s when I saw him.

I was again in that suspended place as I was praying…my eyes slightly closed, gaze cast down. The console TV that serves as a table for the TV that actually works, directly in front of me and in its reflection, I saw something… make that someone… behind me. As soon as I focused my gaze on it, it swished away…back to the middle bedroom. But it was a person…his head and shoulder.

I’ll have to say, I was a little unsettled. I had never actually seen spirits up home before, although I have always felt their presence. I decided to go back outside and drag limbs up for my fire that I would light later when it got dark. Suddenly, I got the urge to bring the old rocking chair that sits on the back porch outside with me. It’s literally the most comfortable chair in that whole house, and it belonged to Uncle Ernie. I broke limbs, made piles of kindling, smaller logs, and then went down to the barn to grab a few logs of cured firewood. As I came back up to the house, and saw the chair, I knew why I had brought it out. He was there…hanging outside with me in his rocking chair.

I grabbed my box of wine, my cup and began preparations. As I sat down, I noticed this large, straight branch in my pile. This would make a great poker for my fire. As I studied it, I saw that it had a large knot at the top where it had originally attached to the tree that it was ripped from during the winter. “That would be a nice carving” Huh? I’ve never carved anything in my life, but felt compelled to go into the house and get the Swiss army knife from the toolbox. I spent the next few hours tuning in to this energy and carved away on this branch from my pile.

As it began getting dark, the sounds of this vast expanse of wilderness began; turkeys, coyotes, hoot owls. There are two large yard lights on poles; one in the front, one in the back where I was. But I wanted only the light of the fire so I got up and turned off the yard lights, grabbed a few items I needed from the house, then went back outside. I sat back down and immediately noticed that the back light was back on! At first I thought I’d messed up and turned the switch wrong, so I went back in and turned it off again. Then as the sounds of large critters began to surge closer, I realized it had been turned back on for a reason. There are animals out there who are not afraid of humans…and they were pretty damned close. Needless to say, I turned it back on and chuckled to myself.

He is still here… protecting us as always.

I believe those kids who broke into our family home were scared off. For some reason, they stopped when they entered the middle bedroom. If they were bent on destruction, as they seemed to be, there were plenty of mirrors and pictures left untouched in that room and the other bedrooms as well. But that was where they stopped. None of the other bedrooms were touched.

That middle bedroom was my Granny’s. It was where she slept. It was where she gave birth to her children. It is the womb, the well, and the source from which we all spring. And it is protected.

Thanks Uncle Ernie.

We got this.

Mixed Blood and a Search for Heritage

*some names have been changed to respect privacy.

I know that this post will offend. Having grown up in once was what was Indian Territory, I am no stranger to the culture of exclusion the native tribes have towards those, like me, who cannot trace their lineage to the rolls. Some writers even claim the government had nothing to do with native families not signing. While that claim may be true for the Cherokee, as research has pointed, it is not true for all tribes. One must have a balanced and educated approach to this in order to understand how exclusionary this is to those of mixed blood.

The Cherokee Nation was and still is a powerful group. They had a highly organized political and educational system decades before their forced removal in the 1800’s. When they relocated to Park Hill in Indian Territory, they brought their schools and government with them. What is now Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma was the first recognized school west of the Mississippi. The tribe had a written language and a powerful organized band of politicians who were able to lobby and partition for tribal rights before many other civilized tribes were ever able to organize. To base all removal ideology on the history of that eastern tribe’s history is erroneous.  But here is where the problem begins.


Map of Indian Territory

Other tribes did not have a written language or the powerful political machine that the Cherokee had and still have.  They were the farmers of the Mississippi delta. Quiet and unassuming for the most part, instead of fighting their own tribe’s removal, they agreed to the march north and east to Indian Territory. The tribe I am specifically referring to is the Choctaw Nation. The Choctaw entered into treaty after treaty with the U.S. government to secede their lands in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Each treaty was broken and subsequently, the first of three forced removals began in October of 1831 and resulted in the Choctaw’s version of the Trail of Tears. Thousands of Choctaw perished on that journey, and once the survivors arrived, they found that white settlers had already claimed the land that they were promised in Arkansas.  They then settled in the southeast corner of what is now Oklahoma.

My own families’ oral tradition concerning our native heritage is scant at best. I remember my father telling me that his great grandmother was part of the Indian Removal, that she was the only survivor of her immediate family, and that she was 16 when she arrived. We, like many others whose ancestors arrived during this time in history, have very little evidence to go on. We have a picture of her, her last name, and the stories that were passed down for us to piece together. And when your lineage is maternal, as mine is, it is most definitely about the white man‘s laws. Women had no rights before 1920 regardless of your bloodlines. If you were female, you could not make decisions for your household. My family is not the only one whose decision regarding the signing of the rolls was made by the white male head of household. In fact, my husband, who is also of native decent that cannot be proven had the same fate befall his father’s family.

I was told as a child that we were Cherokee, and didn’t begin to question this until I was older and had studied tribal history on my own. I was also told that there were no records of our family as being registered on the Cherokee rolls. At the time I was a student at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah (the Cherokee Nation Capital) and spent hundreds of hours in the restricted section looking for anything that would link me to the past I longed for.  Nothing. Just as my dad and my cousins had said. When my own sons began getting older, I revisited my search. By this time, the rolls had been preserved electronically and all one needed was access to the internet to do a search.  I again started with the Cherokee rolls and again nothing. Because I knew that Redbud, Oklahoma in southeastern Oklahoma was where my grandfather was born and raised, I decided to try the Choctaw rolls.  And lo and behold, there was my family surname, Lovelace. In fact, there were five Lovelace’s listed, but none of them were my great-great grandmother.  I can only assume those listed were cousins or aunts or uncles to my great-great grandmother.  And without birth certificates to link the bloodlines, I was out of luck.

But that doesn’t remove the longing I have. And it doesn’t displace the sadness I feel when I go to tribal functions and am considered an outsider.  This began when I was a young girl growing up in the heart of Cherokee country. My family moved to Sequoyah County when I was 6 years-old. All my friends were native and I spent many summers with them as their guest going to gatherings. My oldest sister married a man who was half Cherokee, had two children, and lived with his mother who was a full-blood and spoke Cherokee. When I was 10, I moved in with them to help my sister raise her babies. I spent many hours with her mother-in-law, Marie, who would tell us stories and teach us how to speak a few words and sentences in Cherokee. I was enamored with the culture. To me, it felt unbelievably natural and even as a young child, I knew how honored I was to have this experience. I would go with Jeff’s family to their Indian land; I witnessed my niece and nephew receive their Cherokee names; I went to stomp dances as his guest; and I ate the beans and fry bread that his mom prepared.

When I was 15, my best friend, who is half Cherokee and on the rolls, invited me to go with her to her the gathering of her mother’s clan. Kelsey was gorgeous, being half Cherokee and half Irish, she had long, beautiful blond hair and big brown eyes. When we arrived and jumped out of the back of her brother’s pick-up truck, I remember being excited because there was a ballgame in session, and I loved any kind of team sport. We began walking towards the game. I had already spotted several girls I knew from school and was anxious to join. As we came closer, I noticed the girls moving towards each other, not smiling at us as I was smiling at them. Kelsey was hanging back, and it wasn’t long before I knew why. Zing! Something flew past my head. At first I thought it was a ball and that they were simply inviting us to play. Then I saw it. Each girl had a dirt clod in their hands and were aiming to hit us.  “Cotton hair!” they shouted. By this time I was half way between them and my friend. I couldn’t believe what was happening. Kelsey turned around and headed back towards the truck with tears in her eyes. I was pissed, but knew that I was an outsider and had better go with my friend. “What the hell was that for?” I asked her when I came up. “That’s what they call me and my sister.”

“But that’s Vicki! We play on the same team at school! We eat lunch together!”

“We’re not at school.”

No we were not. We were on their land and we looked “white”.

Kelsey, her sister, and I spent the rest of that day playing in the creek by ourselves. Every now and then a young male would come down and try his best to get our attention, but that hoard of scowling girls were never far behind. And that’s when I got it. It was jealousy. Kelsey was able to traverse both worlds because of the simple way her DNA decided to pronounce itself. She was native, but looked white which afforded her opportunities they felt they were denied.


The Council Oak Tree in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

When I was 17 my sister’s family moved to Muskogee and I moved back to Tulsa where my mother, father and brother had moved years before. Tulsa was a tribal community long before statehood and takes it’s name from the Creek word “Tulasi,” meaning “old town” in their native language. Less than half a mile from where I work is the Council Oak Tree. This is where tribal leaders from the Five Civilized Tribes would meet each year to discuss business and the Lochapoka (Turtle Clan) continued to use the site as late as 1896 for ceremonies, feasts and games. The area surrounding the tree was turned into the “Creek Nation Council Oak Park” in 1929. Tulsa is a town of mingled heritages. White cattle men and ranchers often intermarrying with local natives.

We relocated to Skiatook, a small town north of Tulsa. And that is where I still live today. Skiatook sits half in Tulsa County and half on Osage land. For those unfamiliar with Native culture, the Osage are a Plains Indian who were forced to abandoned their customs to sit idle and depressed on a reservation. Unlike the Eastern tribes, the Osage were accustomed to moving freely across the expanse of the Great Plains. They were fierce warriors and hunted the bison that roamed America’s bread basket. To say they poised a challenge for the agrarian Eastern Tribes, is an understatement. The attitudes in this part of Oklahoma were very different from what I was used to. First of all, the Osage were very wealthy. The oil boom of the 1920’s had made them rich. Head rights were premium and some even lost their lives for the love of black gold. The Osage families that I went to high school with therefore, were revered. And it was very much a taboo for any white person to join their ceremonies.

It wasn’t long before I befriended a girl named Jessica. Jessica reminded me a lot of Kelsey. She too had native blood (Osage) and long blond hair. Jessica’s family owned a large amount of Osage land making her a wealthy young woman of 17. She drove a new car, had great clothes and always had money to spend on food, beer, or whatever else we needed to have a good time. She was literally a little Indian Princess, or at least acted as such and was treated that way by others in her community.  But here’s the ironic part. Jessica was 1/64th native. But that didn’t seem to matter. She was given access to her heritage and was revered by her community. She had less tribal blood in her entire being than Kelsey had in her big toe.

I find it amusing that anyone who can claim Oklahoma as their native land, cannot claim their native heritage. If you are at least a third generation Oklahoman, chances are you are tribal. The odds that you aren’t, are far too remote. And as for myself, who can trace her family back five generations on both sides, I am Native American. So forgive me if your claims to tribal lore and customs seems a bit thin. You shut out those whose ancestors were unable to sign a piece of paper and give head rights to those who are no more deserving than others who you shun. You say the government had nothing to do with those difficult decisions of signing, as if the climate then was the same as it is now. You actually have fooled yourself into believing that everyone had a choice. They did not. I’m quite sure that if my great-great grandmother would have known that eventually the culture of acceptance would change, she would have, if she could have, signed that document. She would have been counted among her people.

And so would have I.