The Cherokee Story of the Sun’s Daughter Becoming the Red Bird
Many moons ago the sun had a human form, it was that of a most beautiful woman. She traveled each day across the sky. Her daughter lived in the center of the sky, and each day the sun would stop to visit her. As time went by, the sun lingered longer each day, and these extended visits caused drought and precious crops to die.
The Cherokee people went to the little men for their advice. They were told they must kill the sun.
The people asked the rattlesnake to kill the sun for them. He coiled beside the door, and when the daughter opened the door for her mother, he struck. The brilliance of the sun had blinded him, and he had struck the daughter in error and she died.
The sun veiled herself in clouds to mourn her daughter, and the rains caused flooding. The little men told the Cherokee that they must go to the land of the dead and bring back the spirit of her daughter.
Seven of the bravest warriors, armed with Bois D’arc sticks, traveled to the land of the dead. Striking the spirit seven times, they put her in a large box to travel home. The spirit awoke. “I am so thirsty,” she said; they ignored her. “I am so hungry,” she said; again they ignored her. Suddenly she cried, “I can’t breathe, I will surely die!”
The Cherokee became frightened and opened the box a tiny bit. With that tiny opening, spirit flitted out and became the Red Bird. She started calling out to her mother, who pushed back the clouds to see her daughter. Her mother was pleased to see her daughter in her new red dress.
So there you have it, the Legend of the Redbird, what we now know as the Cardinal! Is it any wonder that this winged one brings comfort to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, or receiving visits from one who has crossed over? Spirit knows!
Butterflies are also known to visit those left behind after a loss. I think I have decided that it is the butterfly spirit trying to remind us of the beauty that continues in life…. It is the butterfly and the spirit of those we love that reminds us. It is in the struggle, the very struggle that the butterfly must go through to survive. Freeing itself from the chrysalis with struggling and beating its wings allows it to survive. No one can assist the butterfly in that process. It is in beating its wings that it develops the strength that is needed to survive and fly! Are we that different? It is in our very struggle that we find the warrior within and know that we are in fact Survivors. Celebrate the survivor that you are, dance and find peace in the messages you receive, they are gifts from the other side, gifts to be cherished… and they are yours!
The winged ones come to visit those who have other losses as well; often they appear to daughter’s or son’s who have lost partners or parents or friends…. but it seems with those losses the winged ones are often messengers of wisdom. Hawks, Eagle spirits, sometimes Owls…. perhaps with age comes the power and insight often needed for those grieving losses of Elders or significant others! I don’t know, can’t give you empirical studies, I just know it to be true!
What I do know is that the messengers are there, if we but open our eyes and our hearts….
Look around you…. the gifts are everywhere!
Walk In Beauty
Healing Heartaches, Stories of Loss and Life