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Publication: The Paranormal Insider
Welcoming a New White Buffalo

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Issue date: Saturday, December 16, 2006
P A R A N O R M A L  I N S I D E R 

Hi, Dear Readers:

Are you looking for an excuse to let your hair down and go 
a little nutty today? Well, I've got some good news for 
you! Today is the eve of the week-long feast of Saturnalia 
- an ancient Roman feast which is part of the origin of our 
modern day Christmas. On December 17th, the ancients 
ushered in the Winter Solstice celebrations with a great 
festival lasting seven days (and sometimes more) in honour 
of Saturn, the god of agriculture. As part of the greatest 
festival of the Roman year, there was unfettered feasting, 
gift-giving, dancing and all manner of merrymaking. The 
normal rules of society were suspended and even slaves 
were given time off. These were "between-times" for the 
pre-Christian Romans, when all nature's rules hung in the 
balance. To mirror the seeming reversals in the heavens, 
societal structures were overturned, class distinctions 
were deliberately abolished and all rules of law and 
morality were thrust to the winds. This was a Feast of 
Fools where masters served their staff, men wore women's 
clothes, people caroused obscenely in the streets and 
tried to outdo each other in drunken contests of vulgar 
and lewd behavior. 

An appointed King of Saturnalia, later called the Lord of 
Misrule in the medieval evolution of this feast, presided 
over the brawling festivities and was charged with 
concocting ever more obscene and sacrilegious acts for the 
people to perform and partake in. The King of Saturnalia 
may have enjoyed his rule of the rowdy and rollicking 
festivities, but sadly, in the early years of this feast's 
observance, he was also obligated to slit his own throat 
at the conclusion as a sacrifice to the gods. Not such a 
good job after all:>) 

Decorating homes and lighting candles to represent a 
symbolic return of the sun in the coming months were 
also a feature of Saturnalia. 

As the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere 
approaches, my mind is already anxiously turning to 
getting past the deepening darkness of these waning days 
and embracing the promise of ever-increasing light after 
the winter solstice. One of my pet projects at this time 
of year is always 'clean up'. As the Wheel of the Year 
turns, I like to finish up any projects I've started, tidy 
up loose ends and put my desk and house in order so that 
the new energies can come flowing in, unobstructed by 
unfinished or leftover business. 

On this note, today's issue of Paranormal Insider will 
focus on follow-ups and reader comments on topics from 
pervious issues:>) 

Do you have any holiday or New Year superstitions you'd 
like to share with our readers? If so, please email your 
customs or your supernatural experiences to me at: 


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Welcoming a New White Buffalo

The Herald Standard reported just days ago that Sonny and 
Jill Herring, owners of Woodlands Zoo in Farmington, got 
an early Christmas gift this year, one that they will be 
sharing with delighted people far and wide. On Nov. 12, a 
normal brown buffalo at the zoo gave birth to a white baby 
bull calf - prompting an immediate and excited response 
from the local First Nations populace. 

A naming ceremony for the calf has been scheduled for 
Dec. 23 at the zoo. The Herald Standard report says, 
"Lenape Indians, indigenous to the Fayette County area, 
from the Standing Stone Village, have offered the three 
names to the zoo for the sacred animal. The choices include
Kenahkihinen, which means 'watch over us'; Luwan Alankw, 
which means 'winter star' and Wulileu, which means 'good 

Wynne Brown of the Cherokee Indian Tribe, an alternative 
medicine practitioner in Fayette County where the Woodlands 
Zoo is located, visited shortly after learning of the 
calf's birth. Brown greeted the calf with a ritual she 
describes as a "traditional way to move into communication 
with soul and spirit." Eyes closed, Brown turned slowly to 
salute all four directions, East, South, West and North, 
as well as Father Sky and Mother Earth. 

The buffalo's birth "is a unique opportunity across the 
nation for healing to occur," said Brown, who is part of 
the committee organizing the naming ceremony. "The name 
of the buffalo must reflect that." 

The Herrings say this birth is doubly unique because most 
buffalo claves are born in the spring, not the fall. They 
plan to allow the animals to raise this baby themselves, 
instead if separating it from the herd and bottle-feeding 
it as they would normally do with other babies. This 
decision is applauded by the Native American community 
who are flocking to the zoo the view the sacred calf and 
contemplate this special birth.  Many people, both native 
and non-native, believe that the birth of a white buffalo 
calf signifies that the legendary prophetess, Sacred White 
Buffalo Calf Woman, is returning to teach people to 
communicate with the creator. 

(Special thanks to my friend Shana of the Winter Steel 
Paranormal Site for updating me on this great news.) 

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The Question of Shamanism in Native American Cultures

A reader writes:

In December 9 2006 issue of Paranormal Insider, you said, 
and I quote: "It (Shamanism) is still practiced by 
indigenous peoples around the world, especially Native 
American, Latin American, Hawaiian, and Eskimo cultures, 
as well as in various areas of Siberia, Mongolia, Africa 
and Asia." 

The statement that Shamanism is practiced by Native 
American cultures is 100% FALSE. Native Americans DO NOT 

To further illustrate my point, please read the following, 
quoted from "We Do Not Have Shamans: The case Against 
'Shamans' in North American Indigenous Cultures", 

"Shamanism is not the same thing as Native American 
spirituality. The word shaman, used internationally, has 
its origin in manchú-tangu and has reached the ethnologic 
vocabulary through Russian. The word originated from saman 
(xaman), derived from the verb scha-, "to know", so shaman 
means someone who knows, is wise, a sage. Further ethnologic
investigations shows that the true origin for the word 
Shaman can be tracked from the Sanskrit initially, then 
through Chinese-Buddhist mediation to the manchú-tangu, 
indicating a much deeper but now overlooked connection 
between early Buddhism and Shamanism generally. In Pali it 
is schamana, in Sanskrit sramana translated to something 
like "buddhist monk, ascetic". The intermediate Chinese 
term is scha-men. It has been adopted into the English 
speaking world not unlike words such as kayak for example, 
but when it is used to describe Native American holy men 
or women it can be offensive to traditional Natives and 
their Elders." 

Saying that Native Americans practice Shamanism is 
extremely offensive to me and to other Native Americans. 
The term "Shaman" has come to be a "New Age" term that 
has been applied to any position held by a medicine 
person or spiritual leader, but this is not applicable 
in Native American religion. Each tribe has a slightly 
varied belief system but NONE of them use the term "Shaman" 
to describe their religious leaders. 

Please let your readers know that the information that 
was in your newsletter was incorrect.  This type of mis-
information is what continues to contribute to the mis-
perceptions and stereotypes attributed to Native Americans 
and our culture.

Thank you.

Cheryl Grice

Note from Zsuzsana:
I appreciate this comment and I have read the above 
article, as well as several other related articles with 
greatly varying points of view on this matter. It is 
certainly not my intention to offend anyone and I do my 
utmost to research all the subjects I write about care-
fully. If anyone else has a comment on this topic, 
please post it to our forum: Paranormal Insider Forum

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The Mayan Calendar

Back in October, two of our readers, Jeff Wright and Eric, 
wrote to me in response to my October 14th column mention-
ing the Mayan Calendar. In it, I stated that some experts 
who have studied the Mayan calendar believe that the end 
of the world will occur on Oct. 13th, 4772. Many 
researchers believe that while there will be a 'Baktun' 
ending in 2012, the commonly accepted 'end date' of the 
Mayan Calendar, this is only the end of another 400 year 
period, not the end of the age. 

At the turn of the millennium, W.L. Rathje, Senior Editor 
of Scientific American Discovering Archaeology, wrote for 
the Febuary 2000 issue of Discovering Archaeology Magazine: 
"In just 12 years we face another apocalyptic test: the 
Classic Maya millennium, on December 23, 2012 (based on 
our Western Gregorian calendar). That's when the Maya 
calendar will turn over to all zeros — by the 
long count. (By the way, the Maya use of the zero by at 
least A.D. 200 is one of their key claims to fame, since 
the zero was not introduced to the West until the insights 
of Aryabhata, a fifth-century Indian mathematician, reached 
Europe.) The Maya millennium comes 5,126 years after the 
creation, which, by their reckoning, occurred precisely 
on August 11, 3114 B.C. But we probably shouldn't worry 
too much about this, since Pacal, the most famous ruler 
of Palenque, confidently predicted that his accession 
would be commemorated on October 15 in A.D. 4772 (Gregorian 
We, like the Maya and probably everyone else, are always 
trying to predict critical turning points in the future 
so we will have time to prepare for them. Unfortunately, 
we're not very good at it." 

Experts at Wikipedia say: "The end of the 13th b'ak'tun 
is conjectured to have been of great significance to the 
Maya, but does not necessarily mark the end of the world 
according to their beliefs, but a new beginning or time 
of re-birth. According to the Popol Vuh, a book compiling 
details of creation accounts known to the Quiché Maya of 
the colonial-era highlands, we are living in the fifth 
world. The Popol Vuh describes the first four creations 
that the gods failed in making and the creation of the 
successful fifth world where men were placed. The Maya 
believed that the fifth world would end in catastrophe 
and the sixth and final world would be created that would 
signal the end of mankind. 

The last creation ended on a long count of 
Another will occur on December 21, 2012, and 
it has been discussed in many New Age articles and books 
that this will be the end of this creation, the next pole 
shift or something else entirely. However, the Maya 
abbreviated their long counts to just the last five 
vigesimal places. There were an infinite number of
larger units that were usually not shown. When the larger 
units were shown (notably on a monument from Coba), the 
end of the last creation is expressed as, 
where the units are obviously supposed to be 13s twenty 
places larger than that b'ak'tun. In this age we are only 
approaching, and the larger places would 
all need to similarly roll over to 13 again to match the 
date of the new creation. This is confirmed by a date 
from Palenque, which projects forward in time to, which will occur on October 13, 4772 (a 
Friday). The Classic Period Maya likely did not believe 
that the end of this age would occur in 2012. According 
to the Maya, there will be a baktun ending in 2012, a 
significant event being the end of a 13th 400 year 
period, but not the end of the world." 

Both projected dates have spooky significance nonetheless, 
the earlier date being the first baktun to end on the 
winter solstice, and the second date falling on a Friday 
the 13th.  

Carpe Diem!

Zsuzsana Summer


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