Jun 27 2016 9:15 pm
Staff File Photo by Amanda King
Aiken author’s new book rooted in Native American folklore
Diann Shaddox, an Aiken author and founder offor Essential For her first book, Aiken author Diann Shaddox raised awareness of a condition that she lives with – essential tremor.
For her latest book, she pulled from another aspect of her life – her Native American heritage.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner “Spirits of Sacred Mountain” is the latest book by Diann Shaddox.
“Spirits of Sacred Mountain” was released in May.
“Cody Tanner looks like a normal 11-year-old, except he can blur/disappear, use his mind to move objects, and stop time. Normal if you’re a spirit of the mountain,” says the book’s summary.
Tanner, like Shaddox, is a Native American. The author is a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma.
“That’s probably what triggered a lot of this because I was reading up on the tribe, Wyandotte,” Shaddox said.
The story of “Spirits” is rooted in Native American folklore and is written so that readers as young as elementary school-aged students can enjoy it, according to Shaddox.
“I’ve already gotten people wanting a second one,” Shaddox said.
“Spirits ” is dedicated to Shaddox’s husband, to the Wyandotte Nation and to the late Chief Leaford Bearskin.
Before he passed, Bearskin asked Shaddox to write a story about the Native American culture. He was also a childhood friend of her mother.
Shaddox’s first book, “A Faded Cottage,” was released in 2013. Her two other books are “Whispering Fog” and “Miranda.”
All proceeds benefit the Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor, an Aiken-based organization that Shaddox started.
Her upcoming book signings are as follows:
• July 7 from 4 to 6 p.m.: Aiken County Historical Museum, 433 Newberry St. S.W.; part of the museum’s Sweet Tea Series; will have refreshments of wine and cheese
• July 12 from 3 to 6 p.m.: Ridgecrest Coffee Bar in the Village of Woodside, 108 Coach Light Way
“Spirits of Sacred Mountain” is $5.99 as an ebook, $17.99 as a paperback and $27.99 as a hardback and can be purchased through major online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
“We think this is going to be the most popular book she’s written,” said Randy Miles, executive director of the Diann Shaddox Foundation.
Shaddox has plans to make “Spirits” the first of a series.
For more information, visit www.diannshaddox.com or www.diann shaddoxfoundation.org.
The old Frampton Plantation in Yemassee, SC has a fountain/wishing well and when I visit I can’t resist to throw a coin into it. While I’m there, if a child visits I always give them a coin to toss into the water. I love to see a smile and expression full of hope and anticipation grow on their faces as they make a wish.
The tradition of the wishing well has its beginnings in European folk history. Of course in years past underground streams were important sources of clear, fresh water. The early Celts and Germanic people considered springs or streams to have healing and rejuvenating properties, guarded by spirits who may or may not be friendly.
The tradition of dropping coins in ponds and fountains began when people placed the coins as gifts for the deity to show appreciation.
According to belief, any wish spoken over the source of water would come true. A person could make a wish or ask for a blessing from the spirit(s) of the well. People threw silver or copper coins into the well or stream as thanks to the spirits, for good luck or for helpful magic.
Tossing a coin into a wishing well has added benefits. Copper and silver are biocides, meaning that they neutralize harmful bacteria in the water, including those that cause the "rotten-egg" or sulfur smell. Silver and copper metal in coins helps keep the water sweet.
Some people believe that the guardians or dwellers of the well would grant them their wish if they paid a price. After uttering the wish, one would generally drop a coin in the well. That wish would then be granted by the guardian or dweller, based upon how the coin would land at the bottom of the well. If the coin landed heads up, the guardian of the well would grant the wish, but the wish of a tails up coin would be ignored. It was thus potentially lucky to throw coins in the well, but it depended on how they landed.
No matter what age we all love to stop and throw a coin into a wishing well. Whether it is only superstition or maybe a real folklore, I will continue to make my wish. However, now I will have to take a few minutes to watch which way the coin lands.
May all your wishes come true.
When I was growing up in a small town of Arkansas, I spent many cool summer evenings racing around the yard carrying a fruit jar in my hands. If you have to ask why, then you have missed out on a tradition of catching lightning bugs or called by many fireflies. The world turns into an enchanted evening as if tiny stars had fallen from the sky twinkling in the darken night.
The fireflies seem magical and even though there is a scientific answer (a chemical reaction occurs to make their spectacular light) I’d rather believe they are small fairies living in their own glittering world.
Today is Mother's Day, a day of remembering your mom or someone that made a difference in your life. I was very lucky since I had a mother who gave me life and a grandmother who taught me about life.
Mother's Day is a time to think about your love ones, the ones who are still with you and the ones that are in heaven. When I was a child my granddad would sit outside on our front porch and talk to the cardinals. The magnificent birds in the coats of red would fly down onto limbs in the old oak tree, only a few feet from him, and stay for the longest time. Yes, he would have a conversation with them and they would sing their beautiful songs. He would tell me to be quiet and listen. I did as he asked and sat quietly, which was difficult for me then & now, and listen. I have learned over the years that a cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has died. When I think back to those days so long ago sitting with my granddad on our front porch remembering the cardinal singing in the old oaks I have to believe that this folklore must be true.
So when you see a beautiful red bird, I believe it means a loved one is visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they'll appear. Then take the time to remember your family & friends that aren't with you anymore.
I had two cardinals singing outside of my office this morning. I sat and listened quietly to the calming music from Mother Nature.
Cardinals and the Number 12
The number 12 is considered a lucky number by many Native Americans. The number 12 also is associated with the cardinal. Cardinals are seen during all 12 months of the year. A cardinal's eggs will hatch in 12 days. Native American lore holds that if you have encountered a cardinal, expect good luck to follow, possibly in 12 hours, 12 days, or at noon or midnight.
Happy Mother's day!
A few facts about the amazing Hummingbird.
Hummingbirds are small, colorful birds with iridescent feathers. Their name comes from the fact that they flap their wings so fast (about 50 to 200 flaps per second depending on the direction of flight and air conditions) that they make a humming noise. Hummingbirds can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. They are also able to hover by flapping their wings in a figure-8 pattern.
A hummingbird must consume approximately 1/2 of its weight in sugar daily, and the average hummingbird feeds 5-8 times per hour. Hummingbirds do not suck nectar through their long bills, they lick, (10-15 times per second), it with fringed forked tongues. The hummingbird’s fast breathing rate, fast heartbeat, and high body temperature require that they eat often. Humming birds have no sense of smell but have very keen eyesight.
At rest, a hummingbird takes an average of 250 breaths per minute. The Ruby-Throated hummingbird flies 500 miles nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico during both its spring and fall migrations. Depending on the species, habitat conditions, predators and other factors, the average lifespan of a wild hummingbird is 3-12 years.
Hummingbirds radiate like hot coals in the sun. The color that reaches your eye is created by pigment, which absorbs some colors and rejects others. Like soap bubbles, hummingbird’s color comes from iridescence, not pigment.
Is Friday the 13th an old wives’ tale, just superstition, or reality?
So how unlucky is Friday the 13th?
Friday the 13th is known by many as the unluckiest day of the year.
This may all have originated from the word or phobia triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number thirteen.
Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" and divine number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 hours on the clock, 12 months of the year and 12 apostles of Jesus. Anywhere outside a bakery, then 13 is considered a transgression of this rule, which I love. You can never go wrong with one extra donut.
This fear of 13 can be seen even in how societies are built. For example, more than 80 percent of high-rise buildings lack a 13th floor. And many airports skip the 13th gate. Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room with the number 13.
On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 1/2. There is a longstanding myth that if 13 people dine together, one will die within a year. In France socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
While many will laugh off the superstitious day, others will remain in bed paralyzed by fear and avoid daily tasks, conducting business or traveling. In the U.S., an estimated 17 to 21 million people suffer from a fear of Friday the 13th, according to a study by the North Carolina Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute.
The phobia, a fear of Friday the 13th, known as friggatriskaidekaphobia, is not uncommon. The word comes from Frigga, the name of the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named.
Accurate data is impossible to collect since many people around the world avoid certain activities, including travel and surgery on that day. Past Black Fridays notwithstanding, Friday the 13th may actually be a boon for finance. According to CNBC, the market has been up 80 times out of the past 140 Friday the 13ths.
According to research completed at the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (CVS) in 2008, there were fewer accidents and reports of theft or fire on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays.
Whatever you believe; Friday the 13th is a lucky or unlucky day, may good fortune be with you and the one extra donut.
The Angel Oak Tree is a Southern live oak located in Angel Oak Park on Johns Island near Charleston, South Carolina. It is a southern soldier that has stood guard over the south for hundreds of years.
Native Americans, slaves and immigrants from many other countries have taken shelter from it's enormous limbs. The stories this old oak could tell would fill a book as large as it is. How many lovers has sat on its branches, or evil plots has it heard? It is a living monument to survival. To see this massive soldier is free and worthy of a visit.Who knows how many more years this majestic wonder has left...
According to several sources, this ancient tree is approximately 1,500 years old. That would make it about 1,100 years old when the Pilgrims first set foot in North America. It is said to be one of the OLDEST living organisms East of the Mississippi River, which makes standing in the shadows of its massive canopy a great honor. This tree has survived natural disasters like the Great Charleston Earthquake of 1886, the Hurricane of 1893, Hurricane Hugo in 1989, and countless humans climbing it's branches over more than a dozen centuries.
It stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet (1,600 m2). Its longest branch distance is 187 ft. in length.
The oak derives its name from the estate of Justis and Martha Angel, and local folklore tells stories of ghosts of former slaves appearing as angels around the tree. Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land, back to the year 1717 when Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant. The tree stayed in the Waight family for four generations, and was part of a Marriage Settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel.
The Angel Oak Tree - Charleston Tree
3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island, SC 29455
Hours 9-5 Mon- Sat, 1-5 Sunday
Predicting the weather
When I was growing up in a small southern town in Arkansas I had an older gentleman who lived next door. We called him PaDud, his name was Dudley. PaDud was able to predict when storms would be moving in. He would study the sky and clouds the night before and forecast the weather for the next day. He knew if it would be a hot summer or cold winter by how animals acted. I have to say he was correct or at least most of the time.
We have heard of old myths, but they are just superstition, old wives' tales, and folklore, right? Or, are they the real way to predict the weather and how accurate are they. Scientists have always been skeptic, but a few weather experts say some superstitions have it right. Some people still use certain signs like rings around the moon, the shape of the clouds, an angry morning sky, a clap of thunder during the winter as weather predictors.
Farmers have always depended on these predictions, clouds, moon, animals, for planting their crops and when it’s time to harvest them. Many farmers have depended on the Old Farmer’s Almanac for years and still talk about the folklore and superstitions.
I did research when I wrote Whispering Fog, about folklore, myths, and superstitions the ones sailors have always believed in. Of course, the captain of the ship and the sailors used the stars to guide them, but they also paid attention to the sky. The color of the sky, the shape, size of the clouds, and which way the wind's blowing would tell them the weather forecast.
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in the morning, sailor’s take warning
This saying is known by most sailors even today. If you get up in the morning and the sky has turned red, it’s a good chance the seas and wind are kicking up, a sign that the ocean is going to be choppy.
This means that the sun’s light is reflecting off the clouds and that could mean a storm system is building in the sky, approaching. There is some truth in this wives' tale.
This is another wives' tale that many sailors look for and live by; watching seagulls’ movements. The birds tend to know when a storm is coming in, so if seagulls start to move toward land in flocks, you may want to take a second look at the forecast.
A halo around the moon as a warning of rain or snow
The halo around the moon, the gentle white circle we sometimes see resting around the moon on cold nights, is caused by cirrus clouds. Cirrus clouds, (or seed clouds, that is what PaDud called them), are made of ice crystals rather than the water droplets that form most clouds. The cirrus clouds sit high in the sky and stretch thinly across the moon so thinly, that the moon’s light shines through and scatters, creating a halo effect. It is true that cirrus clouds could be the first clouds to increase in front of a storm system, usually a winter storm.
A round topped cloud with a flatted base, carries rainfall in its face.
Cloud formations, height, size, color and density do predict weather forecast.
Thunder in winter signal snow seven to 10 days later
Have you ever heard thunder in the winter, a strange thing to hear unless you are living in south Florida. Many people have said they believe in this old saying and if you hear thunder you can expect snow, but this is one saying I haven’t seen come true, even though people swear by it. It is uncommon to hear thunder in winter because there’s not a lot of humidity in the air.
Rain from the east, two day wet at least.
Most weather patterns travel from the west to the east, so this is a very interesting weather pattern coming from the east.
If the moon shows like a silver shield you needn’t be afraid to reap your fields.
But if she rises haloed round, soon we’ll tread on deluged ground.
People from the beginning of time have used the moon to predict the weather. According to weather myths the shape, color and location of the moon can predicts weather patterns and how plants will grow. Farmers have believed in planting their crops by using the signs of the moon. They watch for signs of rain and storms. In the fall, farmers have used the harvest moon as the time to bring in their crops.
Native American have many belief in how to predict weather by the moon. One belief is if the moon looks like it is tipped on its back, it is holding water that will not spill. If it is tipped forward the water will spill from it, in the form of rain.
Holly berries shining red mean a long winter, ‘tis said.
This saying is true, or that's what I believe. I have huge Holly bushes in my yard and we had 7 inches of snow one winter and the holly berries were shining bright red in the blanket of white.
More old wives' tales
Mourning Doves will coo waiting for more rain.
Cobwebs in the grass mean rain.
Pink clouds in the west at evening time means rain.
Yellow streaks in sunset sky, wind and daylong rain is nigh.
If horses are restless and shake their heads a lot, it means rain is on the way.
Owls will hoot more at night if rain is on the way.
Enjoy your day and look up at the sky.
Southern Hospitality, Southern sayings a little bit of fun.
Thought I share some Southern saying just in case you might be a visiting your southern relatives.
First and foremost, a Southerner has to be modest and never highfalutin and be friendly at all times, even if you don’t know the person from a hole in the ground.
Some of these saying have explanations but others you jest might have ta figure out on ya own.
Ain't got the good sense God gave a rock~ Someone who lacks all common sense
Too big for your britches~ To take yourself too seriously
Busy as a cat on a hot tin roof~ Too busy attending to your own immediate needs to do anything else
Catawampus / caddywonked~ Sideways
Cain't never could~ You never will if you don't try
Carry on~ To continue on foolishly, usually referring to a tantrum or fit
Clicker~ Remote control
Access road~ Service road; the road that allows you entrance to the highway
Directly~ At that moment, shortly or within a couple of weeks
Fixin' to~ About to
Hold your horses~ Be patient
Madder than a wet hen~ Angry
Mash~The first stage of making moonshine
Playing possum~ Playing dead
Prettier than a glob of butter melting on a stack of pancakes~ Looks extremely good
Reckon To~ Believe is true
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Hi I'm Diann welcome and join me on my adventure. I'm the author of "A Faded Cottage" & "Whispering Fog" and Founder of Diann Shaddox Foundation. I'm a member of the Wyandotte Nation & I have Essential Tremor (ET). I love to travel, cook, which leads to eating and I love wines. Chardonnay is my favorite unless I'm eating steak then I'll take a glass of Cabernet.
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