I had the distinct honor and great pleasure to meet Grandmother Margaret Behan this past Sunday (March 13). I met her at a two-day event she was doing at the Vashon Intuitive Arts center (VIA) on Vashon Island. Here she is (second from left) with Lorna, Diana, and Susan from VIA.
I was unable to make the Saturday’s round of ceremonies and feasts, but I was able to spend some personal time with her on Sunday.
More on that in a moment.
A Bit about Grandmother Margaret
Grandmother Margaret is one of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, a group of elders who “…represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come.” She is an Arapaho/Cheyenne who is also known as “Red-Spider Woman”, and is the fifth generation of Sand Creek Massacre survivors.
Grandmother Margaret is a Cheyenne traditional dancer who has served as a dance leader in Oklahoma and in powwows across the country. She has been a sculptress for 30 years and creates clay figurines that have garnered many honors and awards. She’s also an accomplished and published author, poet and playwright. Grandmother Margaret currently is a leader of her tribe, a teacher of Cheyenne Culture, and the President of the Cheyenne Elders Council.
Being in the Presence of Wisdom
As I said, I did get to spend some time speaking with Grandmother Margaret, and it was a moving experience, indeed. I didn’t quite know what to expect from our meeting when I first set up my appointment to see her. Would I ask her questions? If so, about what? Would she ask me questions? Would she do a “reading” for or on me? It was all unclear to me at that moment.
All of those questions just disappeared from my mind the moment I met Grandmother Margaret. To say she is one of the wisest, kindest, most grounded person I have met in a long time is an understatement. I immediately felt at ease with her, and her slight smile emitted so much warmth. As we took our first picture, she held her arm around me closely, as a grandmother would with a child or grandchild. I felt as if we were family.
We then went into an adjacent room and had a private chat for about 20 minutes. We looked right into each other‘s eyes as I told her a little bit about myself. I told her that I was a Tarot reader, that I had been called to do this by Spirit, and that I am more spiritually connected now that I have ever been in my entire life. I spoke of the help and assistance I’ve provided to others via the Tarot, and how gratifying it has been to share my gifts for the greater good. I told her about my close relationships with trees and birds, and my especially close association and relationship with the Thunderbird.
Grandmother Margaret clasped my hands and said how pleased she was to hear this. She looked deep into my eyes, told me that I already know a lot and know what I’m doing, and that it is now time for me to take the next step. “What next step, Grandmother?” She indicated that I should study and learn about Spirituality more deeply or become a teacher to pass on what I know about my gifts. I told her that I’m convinced I’ve been called to teach and she said that this, then, is what I should pursue. She also said that I should write about my experiences with the trees and that I should work more with Thunderbird. “There are other people who talk to nature and think they’re going crazy. You must show them that this is not true, that it is a gift from Spirit. Show them the way and let them learn from you.”
Grandmother and I talked about a lot of things for a long time– or so it seemed. I asked her more questions – about sacred numbers, about Thunderbird, about visions – and we had a wonderful conversation. It’s funny how much we covered in so little time. Perhaps we were both in a place where there really was no time; when we were done, the time was exactly where it was supposed to be.
I learned a lot during that afternoon, about myself, about life, and about sharing. Grandmother taught me new things, and validated things I had read about myself and my life through my own Tarot readings and those of a close, trusted fellow reader. She is a very wise woman and elder, and I feel truly blessed that I had a chance to spend time with her.
Grandmother Margaret graciously gave me her blessing before she left, speaking in the language of her people. It was incredible. Since then, I’ve felt so good and wonderfully different in a way I just can’t describe. I’ll never forget that afternoon, and I know that Grandmother Margaret will be with me now wherever I may be.